Elections - Privacy Notice

This privacy notice explains why the Electoral Registration Officer and the Returning Officer collects and processes your personal data.  This notice should be read in conjunction with the Council's corporate privacy notice.

Who are we?

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and the Returning Officer (RO) are Data Controllers, as defined by Article 4(7) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The dutues of the ERO are administered by Selby District Council.  The ERO, RO and the Council have appointed Vertiua Ltd to be its Data Protection Officer.  Their contact details are: Information Governance Office, Vertau Ltd, County Hall, Racecourse Lane, Northallerton, DL7 8AL, email: dpo@selby.gov.uk or telephone 01609 532 526.

What data do you collect about me?

The information we collect about you could include:

  • your name, address, nationality and date of birth;
  • unique identifiers such as your National insurance Number and signature for absent vote checking;
  • Scanned application forms, documentary evidence and the dates of any letters of correspondence;
  • notes about any relevant circumstamces that you have informed us of;
  • your previous or any redirected address;
  • if you are over 76 or 16/17 years old; and
  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the electoral register.

We also keep records about potential and actual electors, candidates and their agents, and staff employed at an election or during the annual canvass.  This information may be held in printed, data format or both.

Why do you need my personal data?

The ERO and RO collect and use information about residents to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we have a statutory responsibility. We will only collect the personal data we need from you, in order to do this. The ERO is legally required to collect data to produce an accurate Electoral Register. The Electoral Register is then used by the RO to administer the running of elections and referendums. You need to be registered to be able to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible. It is a legal requirement for you to provide this information to the ERO.

Who has access to my personal data within the Council?

The information you provide is managed by staff in Legal and Democratic Services who use the information received to create two registers – the full electoral register and the open (edited) register. The information can also be accessed by the Customer Contact Centre in the event you contact us with a query. The information held in the electoral register is then used by staff to administer any elections and referendums.

Who do you share my personal data with?

To verify your identity, the data you provide 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. The full electoral register is published once a year and is updated every month. It can only be supplied to the following people and organisations:

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Parliamentary Boundary Commission for England
  • Local Government Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Central Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (including 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
  • The Electoral Registration and Returning Officers

We also have to share your information with our software providers and contracted printers. It is an offence for anyone who has a copy of the full electoral register to pass information from the register on to anyone else if they do not have a legal reason to view it. Anyone can inspect the full printed copy of the electoral register under the following circumstances:

  • Inspection of the register will be under supervision.
  • The person inspecting can only make hand written notes.
  • Information taken must not be used for direct marketing purposes and must be used 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 and may be charged a penalty of £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 can 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 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. 

National Fraud Initiative

The Council also collects and uses your data for the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). 

How do you protect my personal data?

The ERO, RO and the Council are committed to keeping the personal data that it holds safe from loss, corruption or theft. It has a number of measures in place to do this including:

  • Training for all officers on how to handle personal data.
  • Policies and procedures detailing what officers can and can not do with personal data.
  • A number of IT security safeguards such a firewalls, encryption, and virus protection software.
  • On site security safeguards to protect physical files and electronic equipment.

What are your legal powers?

We collect the data to comply with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 and the Representation of the People Regulations 2001. This ensures that you are registered to vote in any election, or referendum for which you are eligible. It is a legal obligation to provide information to the ERO for inclusion on the full electoral register.

How long do you keep my personal 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.

Do you transfer my data outside of the UK?

Generally the information that the ERO and RO holds is all held within the UK. However, some information may be held on computer servers which are held outside of the UK. The ERO and RO will take all reasonable steps to ensure your data is not processed in a country that is not seen as ‘safe’ by the UK or EU government. If the ERO and RO does need to send your data out of the EU it will ensure it has extra protection from loss or unauthorised access. 

What are my Data Protection rights?

You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. 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 the right to request completion of incomplete data.

Being added to the electoral register is a requirement under the Representation of the People Act 1983. You do however, have the right to request the erasure of your personal data in certain circumstances (‘right to be forgotten’) such as phone and email details. However, retention of personal information such as a phone number or email address can help us to resolve potential problems especially during an election and assist us in contacting you more quickly.

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. Find out more here.

How do I complain about the way in which you have handled my personal data?

If you have concerns about the way in which the ERO and RO has handled your personal data then please contact our Data Protection Officer: address details above.

You may also want to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (the Data Protection regulator) about the way in which the Council has handled your personal data. You can do so by contacting: First Contact Team Information Commissioner’s Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk / 03031 23 1113 / www.ico.org.uk.