Ancestry adds Surrey Electoral Registers, 1918-1945

Surrey England Electoral Registers 1918-1945 now online

Ancestry.co.uk has added the Electoral Registers covering Surrey for the period 1918 – 1945.

Historical Background

Electoral registers are lists of individuals who are eligible to vote during the time a register is in force (usually one year). Registration for voters in England has been required since 1832, and registers were typically published annually. Restrictive property requirements denied the vote to much of the population for years, though these were eased somewhat in 1867 and 1884 through the Second and Third Reform Acts. There were also requirements when it came to local elections that varied from borough to borough (e.g., residency), and voters had to petition to be added to the electoral registers.

Property restrictions were finally removed for men in 1918, when most males age 21 and older were allowed to vote. The franchise was extended to some women over the age of 30 in 1918, but it was not until 1928 that the voting age was made 21 for both men and women. Thus, the number of names listed in the registers increases with the expansion of suffrage in England.

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