Electoral Services privacy notice
Privacy notice for Electoral Services.
Who we are and what we do
We have a Data Protection Policy (PDF, 250.75KB) in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal data.
For further information please see our corporate privacy notice.
What we need
We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at any elections or personal canvassing. These may be written down on or kept on a computer.
These records may include:
- your name, address, nationality and date of birth
- your email address and telephone number
- unique identifiers (such as National Insurance Number) and signatures for absent vote checking
- scanned application forms, documentary evidence such as copies of your passport, marriage certificate or driving license, dates of any letters of correspondence
- notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us
- your previous or any redirected address
- the other occupants in your home
- if you are over 76 or under 16 or 17
- whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register
Why we need it
The Electoral Registration Officer is a data controller and collects the personal data you provide for the purpose of registering your right to vote. You need to be registered to be able to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible. We have a legal duty to maintain a complete and accurate register throughout the year. We will only collect the personal data we need from you, in order to do this.
The Returning Officer is a data controller and collects personal data for the purposes of delivering elections. We will only collect the personal data we need from you, in order to do this.
What we do with it
We will only use the information that you have provided for the electoral purposes stated in the ‘Why we need it’ section, and will not use it for any other Council purpose, unless we have your consent, or this is provided by law.
Who will your information be shared with?
The information that you have provided will be held by the council and will only be accessed by authorised council employees and organisations or individuals listed below.
It is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to pass information on from this register to others, if they do not have a lawful reason to see it.
We are required to provide copies of the full electoral register to certain organisations and individuals by law. These include:
- The British Library
- UK Statistics Authority
- Electoral Commission
- Boundary Commission for England
- Jury Summoning Bureau
- Elected representatives (MPs, MEPs, local councillors)
- Police and Crime Commissioner
- Candidates standing for election
- Local and national political parties
- the council
- Parish and Community Councils
- police forces, National Crime Agency
- public library or local authority archive services
- government departments or bodies
- credit reference agencies
- national fraud initiative
- Electoral Registration and Returning Officers
We also have to disclose (share) your information with:
- our software providers
- Idox Software Ltd to process online annual household voter registration responses (see Idox privacy notice)
- contracted printers to act on our behalf and process data to print your poll cards, postal packs and other electoral material. They won’t use it for any other reasons and have to look after it in the same way we would.
- Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service managed by the Cabinet Office, to verify your identity. As part of this process your data will be shared with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service. You can find more information about this on GOV.UK: Register to vote privacy notice.
The full register is open for inspection under supervision at the Civic Centre in Esher. Photocopies or photos of the register are not permitted but hand written notes may be made. Information must not be used for direct marketing purposes, in accordance with data protection legislation, unless it has been published in the open version of the register. Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence.
If your name is included on the open register of electors it can be sold to any person, organisation or company for a wide range of purposes. You can ask for your name to be removed from the open register which will not affect your right to vote. The open register is updated and published monthly.
Changes took place in 2020 to the way in which the annual canvass of electors is undertaken. The aim of the reform is to make the process simpler and clearer for citizens and reduce costs whilst safeguarding the completeness and accuracy of the register. The Electoral Registration Officer is required to send your data (name, previous name, address, date of birth, email) to the Cabinet Office and Department of Work and Pensions as part of an annual mandatory national data step, alongside a discretionary local data matching step, at the start of each canvass.
How long we keep it
Your details will keep kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods. We will keep your data for as long as we need it and then we will delete your information from our records.
What are your rights?
Your rights are outlined in our corporate privacy notice.
If at any point you believe the personal information about you that we process is incorrect you can request to see this information and even have it corrected or deleted.
You can unsubscribe from email communication at any time by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, however you will save the council money if you chose to receive election communications via email as we will have to post correspondence to you otherwise.
If you wish to fulfil your rights, please contact our Data Protection Officer and they will investigate the matter and make a decision on what will happen next. You will be notified of this decision and any next steps.
The full details of our Data Protection Officer can be seen in our corporate privacy notice.
If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), see Information Commissioner's Office: Make a complaint.