Electoral registration data protection

Electoral registration privacy notice

We are committed to protecting your privacy and to complying with all the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy laws.

Why we record information about you

The Electoral Registration Officer and electoral services have to record and process details about electors and voters in accordance with the law. We use this information to provide you with a statutory service, and enable us to carry out the functions for which we are responsible.

What information do we collect?

These records may include:

  • Details such as name, address, date of birth and nationality
  • Unique identifiers (such as your NI number)
  • Your signature for postal vote checking
  • Scanned application forms
  • Your previous or any redirected address
  • The other occupants in your home
  • If you are over 76, or under 18
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register

How we use your records

We use your records to ensure we provide the service you need. We will, based on your nationality, include your name on the electoral register so that you are able to vote.

Read about the electoral registers, to find out how you can only view the full register by appointment under strict supervision.

It is important that your records are accurate. You have the right to have any information that is incorrect changed, or updated. If you do not provide us with this information then you will not be able to vote and you may be breaking the law.

How long do we keep your records?

In order to provide you with this service, we rely on our legal obligation.  The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are required to process your personal data in relation to preparing for and conducting elections. We will keep and update your details in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods.

Do we share your records?

We need to share some of the information, this will only happen if the law requires us to do so, or it is necessary for us to perform a task in public interest. Anyone who receives data from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential. Those that receive this data include:

  • Print contractors who provide poll cards and postal votes
  • Candidates, Agents and registered political parties and other registered participants for electoral purposes only
  • Credit reference agencies, the electoral commission and other statutory bodies that are entitled to receive a copy of the register
  • National fraud initiative for the prevention or detection of fraud
  • The council which appointed the Electoral Registration Officer for specific purposes

The law requires us to report certain information to the 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 are no longer eligible for jury service

Partner organisations

To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IERDS) managed by the Cabinet Office. The IERDS share your data with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office.

The register to vote privacy notice on GOV.UK explains how the IERDS process your personal data.

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 the open version of the register at any time by contacting the elections office. You also have the opportunity to opt out as part of the annual canvass of all households.

Can I see my records?

The General Data Protection Regulation allows you to find out what information is held about you, on paper and computer records. This is known as ‘right of subject access’ and applies to your Electoral Services records along with all other personal records.

If you want to know what records the council holds, please see the Council's Access to Information Policy.

The Data Controller is the Electoral Registration Officer. Registration reference Z6209310.

Data Controller Contact details:

  • Contact: Paul Sutton, Electoral Registration Officer
  • Address: Eden District Council, Town Hall, Corney Square, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF

In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited, for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.

What we will do

We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the data protection legislation.  We will not give personal information about you or any personal information you may provide on other people to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law.

The lawful basis to collect the information is that it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest and exercise of official authority as vested in the Electoral Registration Officer as set out in the Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations.

You have the right to be told about any errors made whilst processing your data. We will report any breaches to the Information Commissioner.

Complaining to the Information Commissioner's Office

If you wish to make a complaint about the way we process your information, you have the right to contact the Information Commissioner's Office:

See how to make a complaint on the Information Commissioner's Office website, by telephone of live chat.

See contact us on the Information Commissioner's Office website, for details of different ways you can contact them.


If you have provided your email address, we will use this as the preferred method to contact you. We will use this to send you relevant information, or elector forms that can be sent electronically. If you change your email address, or no longer wish to be contacted in this way, you can update your information or unsubscribe by contacting the elections office.

Last updated: Monday, 14 December, 2020.