Electoral Registration and Elections

Why we are collecting your data

The Electoral Registration Officer is a data controller and collects the personal data you provide 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.

The contact details of the data controller are The Returning Officer, North Warwickshire Borough Council, The Council House, South Street, Atherstone, CV9 1DE. elections@northwarks.gov.uk

What is the legal basis for processing this data?

We do this in the performance of a task carried out in the public interest and in the exercise of our official duty under the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 and 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.

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

The records may include:

  • Your name, address, date of birth and nationality
  • Unique identifiers such as your National Insurance number. Signatures for absent vote checking
  • Scanned application forms, documentary evidence and any letters of correspondence
  • A paper or electronic version of your photograph, if supplied as part of an application for a Voter Authority Certificate 
  • Notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us
  • Your previous or any redirected address
  • The other occupants in your home
  • If you are over 75 or under 18
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register.

Who will your information be shared with?

The information you provide is held in the electoral register which is managed by the electoral registration officer who, using information received, keep two registers – the full electoral register and the open (edited) register.

The full register is published annually and updated at various points during the year.  By law, it can only be supplied to the following people and organisations:

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics
  • Electoral Commission for England
  • Jury Summoning Bureau
  • Elected Representatives (MP, MEPs, Local Councillors)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Candidates standing for elections
  • Local and national political parties
  • The Council
  • Parish and Town Councils
  • Police Forces and the National Crime Agency
  • Public Library or local authority archive services
  • Government departments or bodies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Other Electoral Registration and Returning Officers.

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

Personal data contained in the electoral register and absent voting lists will be used to issue poll cards in advance of an election.

A postal voter’s signature (where required) and date of birth provided on a postal voting statement will be compared against that postal voter’s signature and date of birth held on the personal identifiers record.

In order to maintain an accurate register of electors we use the personal data contained in register to conduct an annual canvass of properties in the Borough.  This includes issuing a Household Enquiry Form (HEF) to all households and following up with non- responding properties.

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

We will not ordinarily send your personal data outside the European Economic area.  However, if you are an overseas elector, we may write to you at your location e.g. to send you a postal vote.

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

Anyone can inspect the full electoral register:-

  • Inspection of the register will be under supervision
  • They can take extracts from the register, but only be handwritten 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 may be charged a penalty of up to £5,000.

The Open register contains the same style of information as the full register, but less of it due to many people “opting out”.  The Open register 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 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 excluded from 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.

Part Two – Elections

Why collect data

The Returning Officers is a data controller and collects personal data supplied in preparation for elections or referenda and to support results.  We will only collect the personal data required in order to do this.

What is the legal basis for processing this data?

We do this in the performance of a task carried out in the public interest and in the exercise of our official duty under the Representation of the People Regulations 2001.

This ensures that elections or referenda are conducted in a robust, fair and transparent way.

We use records kept by the Electoral Registration Officer about potential and actual voters.  In addition we complete and use data relating to

  • Election candidates
  • Voters who propose, second or subscribe candidate nomination papers
  • Election, county and polling agents and their guests/partners
  • Political parties and their officials
  • Staff employed at elections
  • Contact details for polling stations and count centres.

These records may be written down or kept on a computer.


How long we will hold your data for?

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Office are obliged to process personal data for the preparation of the electoral register and the subsequent organisation of elections or referenda.  Personal details will be kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods. The period of time that we will hold this data for will depend on our legal obligations which set statutory retention periods. After this, your information will be deleted or archived.

Your rights

You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold.  Any such requests should be made in writing.

If the information we hold about you is inaccurate you have the right to have this corrected and you have the right to request completion of incomplete data.

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 perform our statutory functions.

Electoral Registration Office

01827719226 / 01827719237

Telephone: 01827719221

Data Protection Officer

If you would like to discuss your rights regarding information held by the Council please contact our Data Protection Officer

Address: The Council House, South Street, Atherstone, Warwickshire CV9IDE

Telephone: 01827719251

Information Commissioners Office

Information Commissioner's Office

Independent advice For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing, you can contact the Information Commissioner at the following address:

Address: Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF
Additional phone number 01625545745

Telephone: 03031231113