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We would like to use cookies to improve your experience by collecting information on how you use our site. Information collected is anonymous.

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Privacy Notice - Electoral Services

This notice provides additional privacy information regarding Electoral Services.

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and Returning Officer (RO) are the data controllers, Electoral Services use information about residents to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are statutorily responsible.

What Information we Collect

We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, candidates and their agents, staff employed by the RO and ERO and those we need to pay. This information may be written down or kept in digital format. The information is, as follows;

  • basic personal information such as your name, address, telephone number, email address, national insurance number
  • 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
  • your previous or any redirected address
  • if you are over 76 or 16/17 years of age - to indicate that you are either eligible to vote (16/17) or no longer eligible for jury service (over 76)
  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register
  • details about your household composition

If you are employed by the RO on election duties of for the ERO for registration duties, we may also collect the following;

  • tax status
  • previous employment
  • next of kin / emergency contact details

If you are a candidate at an election, an appointed election agent, we may also collect the following;

  • political party or campaign group affiliation

Why we collect this information

We will collect information for a variety of reasons in our operations as Spelthorne's Electoral Services. These may include the following:

  • we collect your personal information to undertake our statutory obligation to promote participation in our democratic processes and ensure all eligible persons in Spelthorne are registered to vote
  • to compile and maintain the Register of Electors
  • to enable registered electors to vote in elections and referenda
  • to enable eligible persons to stand as a candidate in elections in accordance with statutory requirements
  • to produce poll cards and postal voting packs
  • to conduct an annual canvass of all households within Spelthorne to establish eligible electors entitled to be registered
  • to conduct boundary and community governance reviews and electoral arrangements
  • to respond to enquiries by email or telephone

The legal basis for processing your data

The legal basis for processing this data is as follows:

  • it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest and exercise of official authority as vested in Electoral Registration Officer to comply with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 and the Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations

A breakdown of the legislation by which we process you data is as follows;

  • Representation of the People Act 1983
  • Representation of the People Act 1985
  • Representation of the People Act 2000
  • Representation of the People Regulations 2001
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006
  • Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013

The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an ERO when requested. This is for the compilation and maintenance of an accurate electoral register.

The RO has a statutory duty to collect and retain information from voters, Candidates and their agents, and staff employed at an election.

Electoral services rely on public task basis to respond to any enquiries requested of them.

Who might we share your information with?

The information you provide is held in electoral registers which are managed by an Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) who, using the information received, maintains two registers - the full electoral register and the open register.

The full register is published once a year and is updated every month and can only be supplied to people and organisations permitted by law, eg:

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Boundary Commission for England
  •  Jury Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (MP, MEPS, Local Councillors), Registered Political Parties and Registered Third Party Organisations
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Candidates standing for elections
  • Spelthorne Borough Council departments for matching exercises and public health functions
  • Parish and community councils
  • Police Forces, National Crime Agency
  • Public library or local authority archive services
  • Government departments or bodies
  • Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (managed by the Cabinet Office) - as part of this service your data is also shared with the Department of Work and Pensions.
  • Credit Reference Agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Electoral Registration and returning officers
  • Printers and software providers

We also have to disclose (share) your information with our Software providers and contracted printers.

Anyone can inspect the full electoral register.

  • inspection of the register will be under supervision by the Electoral Services Team
  • they can take extracts from the register, but only 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 version
  • 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.

There may be certain circumstances where we would share your details without consent such as where we are required to do so by law, to safeguard public safety, and in risk of harm or emergency situations. Any information which is shared will only be shared on a need to know basis, with appropriate individuals. Only the minimum information for the purpose will be shared.

How long will we keep your data for?

We will only keep your information for the minimum period necessary. The information outlined in this privacy notice will be kept in accordance with our retention schedule. All information will be held securely and destroyed under confidential conditions.

Enquiries handled by email will be kept for 6 years.

Can I see my records?

The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you to find out what information is held about you on paper and in digital format. This is known as a subject access request. If you would like to see a copy of your records, you should contact the Data Protection Officer. You are entitled to receive a copy within a month and free of charge.

Your Rights

You have the following rights under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018:

  • you have the right to be informed via Privacy Notices such as this
  • you have the right to request access to and to receive a copy of any information we hold about you (including in an electronic format) - to request a copy of this information you must make a subject access request in writing
  • if you find that the information Spelthorne Borough Council holds about you is no longer accurate, you have the right to ask to have this corrected
  • you have the right - under certain conditions - to ask us to erase your personal data,
  • you may request that Spelthorne Borough Council stops processing your personal data in relation to any council service (this may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you, we will seek to comply with your request but may be required to hold or process information to comply with our legal duties)

If you have any concerns about how this Department or the Council is handling your personal data, these can be raised with the Council's Data Protection Officer, contact details as follows:

Spelthorne Borough Council, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines upon Thames, TW18 1XB Email:

You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). This is an independent body responsible for making sure that organisations comply with Data Protection legislation.

The ICO will always expect you to have raised your concerns with us before submitting a complaint.

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