Electoral services privacy statement
The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and Returning Officer (RO) are data controllers and use information about residents to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are statutorily responsible.
We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates, their agents, staff we employ and the people we need to pay. These records may be written down or kept on a computer.
These records may include:
- basic details about you - for example, your name, address, date of birth and nationality
- unique identifiers (such as your national insurance number)
- notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us
- any previous or current address
- the occupants in your home
- if you are over 76 or under 18 years of age
- whether you have chosen to opt out of appearing on the open version of the register of electors
We will, based on your nationality, include your name on the electoral register so that you are able to vote.
It is important that our records are accurate and up-to-date, as they will help make sure that our staff are able to provide you with the help, advice or support you need.
How long will we keep it for?
The ERO and RO need to process your personal data in order to prepare for and conduct elections. Your details will be kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations. They will be retained in line with the legal obligations and the periods in our retention policy.
Occasions when your information needs to be shared include:
- with our printers and software providers, to compile and manage the register, to print your poll cards, postal vote packs, and other electoral materials
- with registered political parties, elected representatives, candidates, agents, and other permitted participants who may use your information for specific electoral purposes only
- with credit reference agencies, the British Library, UK Statistics Authority, the Electoral Commission and other statutory recipients of the electoral register
- details of whether you have voted (but not how you voted) with those who are entitled by law to receive it after an election
- where the health and safety of others is at risk
- when the law also requires us to pass on information under special circumstances such as crime prevention or the detection of fraud as part of the National Fraud Initiative
We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities - for example:
- where a formal court order has been issued
- for the prevention or detection of crime
- to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau indicating those persons who are aged 76 or over and are no longer eligible for jury service
The Cabinet Office via the IER Digital Service oversees the process of checking citizens' personal identifiers to ensure eligibility for inclusion in the electoral register.
The Department of Works and Pensions uses registration data to verify the identity of new applicants, and the Cabinet Office will inform local authorities when people have moved out of their area.
The open register
If your details are included on the open version of the electoral register, your name and address can be sold to third parties who may use it for any purpose. The law requires that we make the open register available for sale.
If you are already registered, you can check or change your opt out status by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, address and if you wish to opt out in the email or you can check your opt out status by phoning 01483 444115.
Can I see my records?
The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you to find out what information is held about you, electronically or in paper records. This is known as 'right of subject access' and applies to your electoral services records along with all other personal records.
If you wish to see a copy of your records, you should contact the Council's Data Protection Officer using the details below. You are entitled to receive a copy of your records free of charge, within one month.
In certain circumstances, access to your records may be limited, for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.
Do I have other rights?
The Data Protection Act 2018 provides you with other rights; for example, if there is an error in your records you have the right to make sure it is rectified or erased.
You have the right to be told if we have made a mistake whilst processing your data and we will report breaches to the Commissioner.
If you have any questions about your data, privacy or the way the Council uses personal information, contact our data protection team.
If you believe we are not processing your data lawfully you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.