This privacy notice provides you with information about what we do with your personal data (information that is about you and identifies you).

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a separate data controller to Huntingdonshire District Council and collects personal data for the purpose of registering your right to vote.

The duties of the Returning Officer (RO) are also covered by the registration.

Why are we asking for your personal information?

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 also employ people to help us compile the register of electors and run elections.

To do all these things, we collect the personal data we need to undertake these functions.

Our legal basis for processing this data

We collect personal information as being necessary for us to perform a public task that is in the public interest. The laws that enable us to do this are:

  • Representation of the People Acts 1983, 1985 and 2000

  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001

  • Electoral Administration Act 2006

  • Local Elections (principal areas) (England and Wales) Rules 2006

  • Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013

  • Elections Act 2022.

We also collect your phone number and email address if you choose to supply these to us. We ask for this in case we need to clarify your registration, but we can register you even if you do not give us these. We may also use these to contact you during the annual canvass each autumn, as well as to send you information about upcoming elections or polls. This information is not published or passed on to any third party. You can ask us to stop contacting you in this way at any time. Collection and use of your phone number and email address are in our legitimate interests.

What data do we collect?

We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, candidates and their agents, polling station contacts, establishment and engagement contacts and the staff we employ at elections or the annual electoral registration audit. These records may be written down or kept on a computer.

These records may include:

  • your name, address, nationality, and date of birth

  • telephone number and email address (where supplied by choice)

  • unique identifiers, such as your national insurance number or signature

  • photograph (recent) – electronic (online) or hard copy

  • scanned application forms, documentary evidence, dates of any letters of correspondence

  • further evidence from certain individuals, for example, copies of their passport, ID card, marriage certificate or driving licence

  • 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 76 or over or aged 16/17

  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register

  • nank details (only for those people we employ to work for us).

Who we share your registration information with

To verify your identity when making an application to register to vote, 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 on the Register to Vote website.

Sometimes, personal information must be given to other authorities, organisations, or people, but only for purposes set out in the law. Details can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website.

Our software provider and printing company will also use your information, but only on our strict instructions. They will not use it for any other reasons, and they must look after it in the same way we would.

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

Anyone can inspect the full electoral register, but:

  • inspection of the register will be under supervision

  • they can take extracts from the register, but only by making 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 of the register and

  • 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 electoral 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 open register can include direct marketing firms and local charities.

You can choose whether 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 does not affect your right to vote. You can do this through our website.

As well as your name and address appearing in the register of electors, your information will be used to send you a poll card when an election is due and be included in a canvass form during the annual registration canvass. If we hold an email address or telephone number for you, we may also use these channels to contact you about your registration or upcoming elections.

If you are a postal voter, your date of birth and the signature that you supply on your postal vote application form will be compared with the date of birth and signature returned with your completed postal vote ballot paper. This is to make sure that the correct person has voted.

If we employ you to work for us at elections or at the annual electoral registration canvass, we will also use your information to enable payment to be made to you. At a Parliamentary election we may also pass your details to the RO at Peterborough City Council, if you are appointed to work in a polling station within the part of the North West Cambridgeshire parliamentary constituency that falls within the Huntingdonshire District Council area.

We may also take part in academic studies or statistical research regarding voter registration or voting. Your personal data will be anonymised and will only be used in line with electoral law and the GDPR.

In the event of a national or local emergency, we may be asked to share your data to assist other council departments that are working to support the community.

Where we get your information

Elector details are supplied directly from the individual when they make their application to be added to the electoral register, or when a householder completes a canvass form during the annual electoral registration canvass. The person is asked to provide these details by law for electoral registration purposes.

The Electoral Registration Officer also has a right to access data from other departments within Huntingdonshire District Council, such as Council Tax, as well as data held by Cambridgeshire County Council. This is to ensure the data we hold is correct and help us to identify potential electors.

Staff employed at elections or during the annual electoral registration canvass are asked to supply contact details and other personal information to enable payments to be made.

How long we will we hold your information for

The ERO and RO 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, which are available on Huntingdonshire District Council’s website [PDF, size unavailable].

How your information is stored and kept safe

Information may be held as a written record, kept on a computer system as an electronic record, or as a printed record from our computer system. All records are stored in a secure office that only certain people can access.

Our computer system can only be accessed by authorised staff and they must have a lawful basis for accessing the data. Certain individuals have limited access, for example on a ‘view only’ basis and the amount of information they can view is restricted. The system is backed-up onto secure servers.

Your rights

You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. You can do this on Huntingdonshire District Council’s website.

If the information we hold about you is inaccurate you have a 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 comply with a legal requirement.

We do not routinely process any information about you outside the UK. We will not transfer your personal data outside of the EU.

The Electoral Registration Officer is a registered Data Controller with the Information Commissioners Office. (Registration reference: Z5904347)

You can find out more about how Huntingdonshire District Council handles your data by visiting the council’s Privacy Notice page on the web site. If you have a query regarding your rights please contact the Data Protection Officer who can be contacted by emailing infogov@3csharedservices.org or you can write to the council and mark your letter for the attention of the Data Protection Officer.

You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) should you have any concerns about how we handle data. Email: casework@ico.org.uk

Electoral Services Contact Details: 01480 388129 / elections@huntingdonshire.gov.uk