This privacy notice explains how personal information is going to be used, what for, who it will be shared with and why.

Why we collect and hold personal data about you

We collect and hold personal information 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.

We process personal data because it is necessary to comply with our legal obligations under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 and the Representation of the People Regulations 2001.

This ensures you are registered to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible. The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an electoral registration officer for inclusion in the full register.

What information do we collect about you?

We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed on elections. These may be written down, or kept on computer.

These records may include:

  • Your contact details
  • Nationality  
  • Date of birth
  • Unique identifiers (such as national insurance number),
  • 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 about
  • Your previous or any redirected address
  • The other occupants in your home
  • If you are over 76 or under 18 (16/17)
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register

Who we share 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.

You can find more information about this here:

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 of Wales
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Returning Officer for local government election
  • UK Statistical Authority
  • The Electoral Commission
  • Parliamentary Boundary Commission for England
  • Local Government Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Central Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (MPs, MEPs, Local Councillors, Parish Councillors, Combined Authority Mayor)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Candidates standing for election
  • Local constituency parties
  • Registered political parties
  • The Council who appointed the ERO
  • Parish councils
  • Other eligible organisations, such as any police force in Great Britain,  Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Reserve),  National Crime Agency (previously the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Police Information Technology Organisation), any body of constables established under enactment, Security Service, GCHQ and Secret Intelligence Service
  • A public library or local authority archives service
  • Police Area Returning Officer for a Police and Crime Commissioner election
  • Government departments and other bodies:
  • Credit reference agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative

We also share your information with our Software providers and contracted printers.

It is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to pass information from this register on to others, if they do not have a lawful reason to see it.

Anyone can inspect the full electoral register.

  • Inspection of the register takes place under supervision
  • Extracts from the register can only be 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 register
  • Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence and will be charged 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 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 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 will we keep your information?

We will only keep your information for as long as we need to, so we can give you the service you need, unless we must keep it for legal reasons. The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer will retain you details for the purpose of preparing and conducting elections for as long as you remain registered with them or as required by the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended) as detailed in the retention and disposal schedule.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  1. Ask to see information held about you by the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer (also known as a Subject Access Request)
  2. Withdraw consent for data which is not in relation to the register of electors
  3. Ask us to change information held about you if it is wrong
  4. Ask us to delete the information we hold about you
  5. Ask us to limit the way we process information held about you
  6. Data portability (have your data transferred to another Authority)
  7. Question decisions made about you by a computer
  8. Complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office

To exercise any of these rights please contact the Electoral Services Team and/or email

Withdrawal of consent

Where personal data is processed on the basis of consent, you will have the right to withdraw that consent. However the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer process personal data that it is necessary to do so in order to comply with our legal obligations and to enable us to perform tasks carried out in the public interest. 

Contact us

Liz Read, Electoral Services Manager


You have the right to submit a complaint if you are unhappy with the way your request is handled or disagree with a decision made by the council regarding your data. In these circumstances you can contact the Data Protection Team (DPO) and request a review of the decision.

If you are not satisfied with any outcome from the DPO you may wish to apply to the Information Commissioner's Office at:

The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
SK9 5AF.

Date of last review: February 2021