Who is the Data Controller for the information I provide?
The Electoral Registration Officer is the Data Controller for Electoral Registration.
What about the Voter Authority Certificate scheme?
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. In order to register to vote your identity must be verified. 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. Find out how your data is processed.
What is the legal process for collecting this data?
We do this as a legal obligation to comply with 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 electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at an elections. These may be written down, or kept on a computer.
These records may include:
- Your name, address nationality and date of birth
- 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
- The other occupants in your home
- If you are over 76 or under 16/17
- Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register.
Do I have to provide this information and what will happen if I don’t?
This information must be supplied to maintain the electoral register and for the purpose of administering an election.
Who will your information be shared with?
The information you provide is held in electoral registers which are managed by electoral registration officers who, using information received, keep two registers – the full electoral register and the open (edited) register.
The full register is published once a year and is updated every month and can only be supplied to the following people and organisations:
- British Library
- UK Statistics Authority
- Electoral Commission
- Boundary Commission for England
- Jury Summoning Bureau
- Elected Representatives (MP, MEPS, Local Councillors)
- Police and Crime Commissioner
- Candidates standing for elections
- The Council
- Parish and Community councils
- Police Forces, National Crime Agency
- Public Library or local authority archive services
- Government departments or bodies
- Credit Reference Agencies
- National Fraud Initiative
- Electoral Registration and Returning Officers
We also have to disclose (share) your information with our Software providers and contracted printers.
It is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to pass information from this register on to 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 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.
How long will you keep this information for and why?
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.
How will my information be stored?
The information is stored on the Electoral Management System, supplied by express.
Will this information be used to take automated decisions about me?
Will my data be transferred abroad and why?
What rights do I have when it comes to my data?
You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. Any such requests must be made in writing.
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.
If you are dissatisfied with how the councils have used your personal information you have a right to complain to the councils Data Protection Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Information Commissioner’s Office at email@example.com
If you wish to contact us in relation to any of your information rights, please contact the councils Data Protection Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to complain about how your personal information has been handled by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council please contact the councils Data Protection Officer in the first instance using the details above. If you are not satisfied you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or you can visit the ICO website.