Voting and elections service privacy notice

Read our privacy notice for information on how we collect, store and process your data.

Why we are collecting your data

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning 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 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.

What is the legal basis for processing this data?

The collection of your personal data is a task carried out in the public interest in order to ensure you are registered and able to vote in any election, or referendum for which you are eligible, and to comply with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 and Representation of the People Regulations 2001. The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an electoral registration officer for inclusion in the full register. To meet our statutory obligations, we keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, as well as staff employed at the annual canvass and elections. These may be written down, or kept on a computer.

  • Your name, address, nationality and date of birth
  • Unique identifiers (such as National Insurance Numbers).
  • Signatures for absent vote checking
  • Scanned application forms, documentary evidence, 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 16/17
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register.

The data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service managed by the Cabinet Office in order 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 the GOV.UK website.

Who your information will be shared with

The information you provide is held in electoral registers which are managed by electoral registration officers who, using information received, keep two registers – the full electoral register and the open (edited) register.

The full register is published once a year and is updated every month. In accordance with the specific legislative provisions which permit its supply and restrict its use. It may only be supplied to the following people and organisations:

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (MP, MEPs, Local Councillors)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Candidates standing for elections
  • 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 and contracted printers, this is subject to appropriate safeguards.

It is a criminal offence for anyone who has a copy of the full register to supply, disclose or otherwise make use of information in this register for any purpose other than that set out in relevant legislation.

Anyone can inspect the full electoral register.

  • Inspection of the register will be under supervision
  • Those inspecting it may take extracts from the register, but only by hand written notes
  • Information taken must not be used for direct marketing purposes, in accordance with data protection legislation, unless it has been published in the open version
  • Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence and may incur a penalty of up to £5,000.

The open register contains the same information as the full register, but is not used for elections or referendums. It is updated and published every month and may be sold to any person, organisation or company for a wide range of purposes. It is used by businesses and charities for checking names and address details; users of the register include direct marketing firms and also online directory firms.

You can choose whether or not to have your personal details included in the open version of the register; however, they will be included unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register will not affect your right to vote.

How long we will hold your data for

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are obliged to process your personal data in relation to preparing for and conducting elections. Your details will be kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods.

Your rights

You are entitled to request a copy of any information that we hold about you. Any such requests must be made in writing. If the information we hold about you is inaccurate you have a right to have this corrected and you have a right to request completion of incomplete data.

You have the right to request the erasure of your personal data in certain circumstances (‘right to be forgotten’). You have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal data, in certain circumstances. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to comply with a legal requirement.

If you are dissatisfied with how the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer have used your personal information you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at

Whether provision of data is part of a statutory or contractual requirement

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer is required to keep a record of your personal data in order to comply with the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983, Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, Representation of the People Regulations 2001 and Electoral Registration (Disclosure of Electoral Registers) Regulations 2013.

Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer ICO registration

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer is registered with the Information Commissioners Office. Their registration is ZA324581.

How to get advice or make a complaint 

Data Protection Officer 

If you have a concern about how we collect or use your personal data you can contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer.  

How to make a complaint 

We aim to resolve all complaints about how we handle personal information. You also have the right to make a complaint about data protection to the Information Commissioner's Office.  

Contact them by post: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or phone 0303 1231 113. 

You can also make a complaint or find out more information on the Commissioner's Office website

If your complaint is not about data protection, find details on how to make a complaint about a council service