Electoral services privacy notice

This document explains how your information will be held about you and processed by Electoral Services. Find out about the General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018 and your rights

This document contains information about:

  • Who we are
  • Why we collect your personal information
  • The legal basis for using your information 
  • Who we may share your information with
  • How you can access the information we hold about you
  • How long we keep information about you
  • Further information and Data Protection Officer

Who we are

The Electoral Registration Officer will be the Data Controller for the personal information you provide. Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This could be your name and contact details. As the Data Controller, The Electoral Registration Officer will use your information for the purpose of Electoral Registration and to administer elections that you are eligible to vote in.

Why we collect your personal information

We will collect enough personal information in order to verify your identity and eligibility to register 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. The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an Electoral Registration Officer for inclusion in the full register. The register of electors lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in Elections and Referendums.

We are not permitted to collect information we do not need or will not use. This document covers information you have provided direct to the Council and information which has been shared with us by other organisations.

Electoral Registration Officers are required to publish an open register (regulation 93 of the RPR 2001). While electors are able to ‘opt out’ of this register, Electoral Registration Officers are required to include their details in the open register if they do not do so. 

The open register, also called the edited 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.

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.

We don’t sell your personal information to anyone else.

The legal basis for processing your information 

According to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, we must have a reason to collect and use your information. 

This reason is: 

The Electoral Registration Officer has a statutory duty to maintain the register of electors and absent voters lists. 

There are a number of legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information. For this service the reason is:

Public task: the processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

Our service also needs to use sensitive personal data also called “special category data” which requires more protection to keep it safe. This is often information you would not want to be widely known and is very personal to you. It includes:

  • Nationality
  • Anonymous registration

We will take extra care of this data. The legal reason for us to collect and use this personal information is:

It is necessary to perform our statutory duties or it is required by law (Regulation 26 of the RPR 2001).

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

These records may include:

  • Your name, address, nationality, date of birth and 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.
  • Your previous or any redirected address
  • The other occupants in your home that are eligible to register
  • If you are over 76 or 16/17 years of age.
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register.

Who we may share your information with

Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide your personal information to other organisations, for example the court service or HMRC.

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: https://www.registertovote.service.gov.uk/register-to-vote/privacy

We may also share your personal information with other service units of the council namely Council Tax (Regulation 4 of the Council Tax [Administration & Enforcement] Regulations 1992), Growth & Infrastructure, Environmental Services and Adult Social Care, to be used for the discharge of a statutory function relating to security, law enforcement and crime prevention.

Your information will not be disclosed to any other organisations, except where we are required and allowed by law to provide it.

The full register is published once a year and is updated on a monthly basis (apart from October and November), and can only be supplied to the following people and organisations by law.

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Central Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (MP, MEP, Local Councillors, Police & Crime Commissioner)
  • Candidates standing for elections
  • Local and National Political Parties
  • The Council
  • Police Forces, National Crime Agency
  • Government departments or bodies
  • Credit Reference Agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Returning Officers

We also have to share your information with our Software providers and contracted printers in order to provide the statutory service. These organisations are referred to as data processors.

Accessing the information we hold about you

You have the right to request, in writing, details of the information that is held about you and also the right to access a copy of the information. Please see the Council webpage for further information about how to make a subject access request. 

Bournemouth Borough Council or the Borough of Poole will not charge a fee to access your information. Sometimes there may be information that we are not allowed to show you, such as:

  • legal information or advice
  • crime prevention and detection records
  • information that we believe may be harmful to you and your well-being
  • details about or provided by other people – this is called third party information (e.g. information from the Police or Department for Work & Pensions)

You may also ask us to: 

  • stop processing your information i.e. your telephone number or email address. This cannot however, be applied to information where the collection of, or the nature of the processing is specified in electoral law. It is optional to provide your telephone number or email address but if you no longer wish us to hold and use them to communicate with you, write to Electoral Services, Civic Centre, Poole, BH15 2RU or email electoral.services@poole.gov.uk or telephone 01202 633097 to request that they be removed from your records.
  • amend any of your data which is inaccurate.
  • erasure you can also ask for information to be erased (also known as the right to be forgotten) or destroyed. This right is not absolute and only applies in certain circumstances.  Where we are under a legal obligation to process your personal information in order to perform a task in the public interest it will not apply.
  • consider a claim for compensation for any damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations.

How do we store your data and how long do we keep information about you 

Your records are processed and stored within our Electoral Management System provided by our software suppliers. Our software systems are designed to keep your data securely and encrypt any sensitive information that we hold. National insurance numbers are automatically redacted a year after receipt in accordance with the law. All paper records are stored securely within a dedicated locked storage room only accessible by Electoral staff.

We retain your information in accordance with our legal obligation and in line with statutory retention periods after which it is securely destroyed. More information is contained within our document retention policy.

Further information 

If you have a concern about how we are using your information, we would ask you to contact us in the first instance using the address below: 

Electoral Services
Borough of Poole
Civic Centre
Poole
BH15 2RU

Email: electoral.services@poole.gov.uk

Data Protection Officer

If you are not satisfied with a response to your concerns from the Service, our Data Protection Officer Vivian Bateman, can review any issues regarding Information Rights legislation if necessary. The Data Protection Officer can be contacted at the address below:

Data Protection Officer
Bournemouth & Poole Information Governance Team
Bournemouth Borough Council
Town Hall
Bournemouth
BH2 6DY 

Information Commissioner

For further information about Information Rights legislation, please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk or by telephone 0303 123 1113.

Page last updated: 30 May 2018
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