Further information about Electoral Services | Privacy Notice and General Data Protection Policy | Sevenoaks District Council

Privacy Notice and General Data Protection Policy

Further information about Electoral Services

The Electoral Registration Officer 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, poll 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.  The Returning Officer collects the personal data you provide to administer elections, polls and referenda.

We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the data protection legislation. We will not give personal information about you or any personal information you may provide on other people to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law.

The lawful basis to collect the information in this form is that it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest and exercise of official authority as vested in the Electoral Registration Officer as set out in Representation of the People Acts, the Electoral Administration Act 2006, Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013and associated regulations, or in some cases as a legal obligation under those laws.

Some of the information that is collected in this form is classified as special category personal data. This is processed for reason of substantial public interest as set out in Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations. To process this type of information the Data Controller must have a relevant policy document that sets out how this information will be handled.

Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers: the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by anyone and is often used to confirm name and address details. Your name will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud, calling people for jury service and checking credit applications).

The full register is published once a year and is updated every month and can 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 (MPs, MEPs, Local Councillors)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Candidates standing for elections
  • This Council
  • Town and parish councils
  • Police forces, National Crime Authority
  • Public library or local authority archive services
  • Government departments or bodies
  • Credit Reference Agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Electoral Registration and Returning Officers

Electoral Services also discloses your information with our software providers and contracted printers.

The full electoral register is available for inspection by anyone but can only be inspected under supervision, extracts can only be made as hand written notes, the 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 and  anyone who fails to observe this is committing a criminal offence and can be fined.

Information contained on the electoral register will be used to conduct the annual canvass and information contained on the electoral register and absent voters list will be issued to issue poll cards for an election, poll or referenda.

Election staff details will be shared with the Council’s payroll department and other Council Services and other public organisations, where permitted under data protection legislation, for legitimate and statutory purposes

We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at elections. These may be kept in digital or hard copy.

The data you provide, or have provided in the past, will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service managed by the Cabinet Office. 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 on the Register to vote website and more information on Canvass Reform on the Proposals for the reform of the annual canvass page on the GOV website.

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