The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and Returning Officer (RO) are data controllers who collect and use information about residents to enable them to perform specific functions for they are statutorily responsible.
The Electoral Services unit carries out those duties on behalf of the ERO and RO. Our lawful basis for processing your information is governed by electoral law and outlined in the Representation of the People Act 1983, Local Government Act 1972 and Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013. We also rely on the UK General Data Protection Regulation Article 6(1)(e) – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at an election and the people we need to pay.
These records may include:
- basic details about you – for example, your name, address, date of birth and nationality;
- unique identifiers (such as your NI number and date of birth);
- scanned application forms & 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 18;
- whether you have chosen to opt out of the Open (edited) version of the Register of Electors.
We are entitled to inspect local records to identify new electors who should be registered to vote in our local area. This power is vested in Regulation 35 of the Representation of the People Regulations 2001. The council’s Revenues and Benefits department regularly shares information with us about new council tax payees so that we can invite these individuals to register to vote if they meet the eligibility criteria.
What is the information used for
The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer need to process your personal data in order to prepare for and conduct elections.
The ERO is responsible for the publication and maintenance of the Register of Electors. We will, based on your nationality, include your name on the Register of Electors so that you are able to vote. The Register of Electors is a public document, in force for twelve months, which can be viewed by appointment only under strict control. A copy of the register is stored at the Royal Borough’s public libraries in Maidenhead, Windsor and Ascot. Your details remain on the electoral register for the twelve months it is in force until a revised electoral register is published for the following year. Archived copies of the electoral register are kept permanently and securely in the Royal Borough’s public libraries for research and historical reference purposes. Your details will be kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods and the periods in our retention schedule.
It is important that our records are accurate and up-to-date as they will help make sure that our staff are able to provide you with the help, advice or support you need.
Occasions when your information needs to be shared include:
- with our printers and software providers, to compile and manage the electoral register, to print your poll cards, postal vote packs, and other electoral material;
- with registered political parties, elected representatives, candidates, agents and other permitted participants who can use it for electoral purposes only;
- with Credit reference agencies, the British Library, UK Statistics Authority, the Electoral Commission and other statutory recipients of the Electoral Register;
- details of whether you have voted (but not how you have voted) with those who are entitled in law to receive it after an election;
- where the health and safety of others is at risk;
- when the law requires us to pass on information under special circumstances, crime prevention or the detection of fraud as part of the National Fraud Initiative.
We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities – for example:
- where a formal court order has been issued;
- 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.
Government Digital Service
When you apply to register to vote, your identity needs to be verified before we can add your details to the electoral register. To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the national Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IERDS) which is managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this process your data will be shared with the Department for 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 register to vote privacy website.
During the annual canvass, Electoral Services works in partnership with the government’s Digital Service to send emails to electors inviting them to renew their electoral registration records for the following year. We send emails to electors using the Gov.Notify.UK interface (email@example.com) during the canvass period.
Our Electoral Management System (EMS) is delivered by a third party organisation, Democracy Counts Limited. Democracy Counts is contracted to work on our behalf as a data processor. Employees at Democracy Counts may have access to the personal data contained in the EMS through the provision of IT service support and maintenance of our system as and when required.
The Open (edited) Register
If your details are in the Open (edited) version of the Electoral Register, your name and address can be sold to third parties who may use it for any purpose. The law requires that we make the Open (edited) Register available for sale.
You can opt out of this version of the register at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to know more about how we use your information or you would like to inform us of a change to your contact details, please contact us using the details below:
Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1RF.