The Local Authorities' Secure Electoral Register project aims to create a list of voters that can be searched anywhere in the country by linking more than 400 local authority databases.
It will help the government to check that political donations are from individuals who are on the electoral register and allow councils to update their registers on a monthly rather than the annual basis under the current system.
The register, which is being funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, was originally due to be in place by early last year.
The project was stalled after the High Court ruled in late 2001 that the sale of electoral register information breached data protection and human rights laws. This prompted councils to suspend sales of the electoral register for commercial use.
Contracts for the project have yet to be signed but Intelligent Addressing and Unisys are understood to be shortlisted suppliers.