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Electoral Services

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2. How we process your data

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.

There are occasions when your information needs to be shared and these include:

  • with our contracted printers in order to print your poll cards, postal packs and other election material 
  • with registered political parties, elected representatives, candidates, agents and other permitted participants who may use it for electoral purposes only 
  • with credit reference agencies, the British Library, UK Statistics Authority, the Electoral Commission and other statutory recipients of the Electoral Register
  • details of whether you have voted (but not how you have voted) with those who are entitled by law to receive this information after an election
  • where the health and safety of others is at risk
  • when the law requires us to pass on information under special circumstances
  • for the purposes of crime prevention or the detection of fraud as part of the National Fraud Initiative 

We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities, for example:

  • where a formal court order has been issued 
  • to law enforcement agencies for the prevention or detection of a crime
  • to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau indicating those persons who are aged 76 or over and no longer eligible for jury service

The process of checking citizens’ personal identifiers, i.e. date of birth and National Insurance number, to ensure eligibility for inclusion in the Electoral Register is controlled by the Cabinet Officer via the government’s Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IERDS). This includes:

  • the Department for Work and Pensions who use data provided to verify the identity of new applicants
  • the Cabinet Office will inform the old local authority of people who have moved to another area 

As part of the process your data will be shared with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the IERDS. You can find more information about this here:

Information will be processed within the EEA and will not be shared with overseas recipients.

If your details are in the Open version of the Electoral Register, your name and address can be sold to third parties who may use it for any purpose. You can opt out of this version of the Register at any time and you are given the opportunity each year as part of the annual canvass of all households.

You have the right to opt out of the Open version of the Register at any time and we must remove you from this version and tell the statutory recipients of the Register in the next update.