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 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 2013, Elections Act 2022 and 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
  • National Library for Scotland
  • National Library for Wales
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Summoning Bureau
  • Elected representatives (MPs and 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
  • Local and national political parties

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. 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.

In accordance with annual canvass reform, Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019, since July 2020 the Electoral Register is data matched with datasets used by the Department of Working Pensions, matching name, date of birth (where held) and address. The transfer of information is done via secure connection between both systems, using security certificates and access to keep your data safe.

Candidates standing at an election and registered political parties are supplied with a list of absent voters on request.  Additionally, those who are entitled in law to receive it, can request the marked register which indicates which electors have voted (but not how they have voted) after an election.

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 and staff employed at elections. These may be kept in digital or hard copy. These may be written down, or kept on a computer. These records include:

  • Your name, address, nationality and date of birth
  • Contact details such as telephone numbers or email addresses
  • 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.

Election staff only:

  • Name, address and date of birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Right to work evidence
  • Bank details and working history
  • Emergency contact details (optional)

The Elections Act 2022 and associated regulations require the Electoral Registration Officer to process and issue Voter Authority Certificates, Temporary Voter Certificates and Anonymous Elector Documents. Applications for Voter Authority Certificates can be made in person, online or by a paper application. The Voter Authority Certificates will be printed at a Government procured central printer and despatched via Royal Mail. The temporary Voter Authority Certificates and Anonymous Elector Documents will be printed and distributed directly by the Electoral Registration Officer.  The Electoral Registration Officer is the data controller.  The data required for the applications and records retained includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth (optional)
  • National insurance number (optional)
  • Phone number and/or email address (optional)
  • Photograph of the applicant for the certificate/document
  • An indication as to whether the applicant would like supporting information provided in Braille, easy read format or large print
  • Overseas electors will need to provide their declaration and present address
  • If the certificate is to be collected, a reason as to why
  • Documentary evidence or attestation to support the application
  • Details and dates of correspondence sent

Data and records relating to Voter Authority Certificates, Temporary Voter Authority Certificates and Anonymous Elector Documents will be retained in line with the statutory requirements unless there is an additional need to retain it for longer.

A data sharing agreement is in place for purposes related to the implementation of the digital service for applications for an absent vote and pursuant to the statutory lawful basis set out in the Elections Act 2022. Applications made online through the gov.uk website are processed through an online portal developed and hosted by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Data is verified by the Department of Work and Pensions to confirm the identity of the person applying for an absent vote.

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.

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, Electoral Registration (Disclosure of Electoral Registers) Regulations 2013 and Elections Act 2022.

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.

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer is registered with the Information Commissioners Office. Their registration is Z6836729.