Electoral services - data specific purposes

What is the purpose for collecting your data?

Electoral Services are responsible for producing the electoral register. This is a list of all people who are eligible to vote in elections in the borough of Enfield. The law requires us to share the data with various agencies and parties. Electoral Services are also responsible for managing elections in the borough. This involves using the data to enable people to vote, and to enable parties and candidates to participate. We collect personal data from our residents to enable us to carry out these functions and all functions are performed in the public interest.

The Council appoints an Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and a Returning Officer (RO) who has the legal powers to collect this data.

Laws that govern the collection and use of this data

The following lists all primary and secondary legislation relevant to the collection, processing and retention of personal data:

Purpose for collecting your name, address, date of birth, nationality and national insurance number

We are legally required to collect this information so we can determine if you are eligible to vote and to record you as a legitimate voter. The national insurance number is removed as soon as we determine your application. We share this data with the government office which provides the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service. They check the data against other government records to determine its legitimacy. Find out more about privacy when registering to vote.

What other data do we collect?

We also collect data on electoral registration and election staff so we can employ them to conduct electoral duties. Political parties and candidates are required to provide information when they wish to stand for election. Again, electoral law determines what data we have to request and how long we retain it.

Who do we share the data 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:

We also have to disclose (share) your information with our Software providers and contracted printers for the purposes of carrying out our duties of electoral registration and elections.

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.

The full register

The full register contains data on all registered electors. Anyone can inspect the full electoral register 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 of the register. 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

The open register contains the same information as the full register, but is not used for elections or referendums. It is possible to opt-out of the Open Register. 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 do we hold your data?

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. For a copy of our Retention Policy please contact us directly.

Your rights

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 the deletion of your personal data in certain circumstances (‘right to be forgotten’). 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 Electoral Registration Officer/Returning Officer have used your personal information you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office.

The collection and provision of your data is a statutory requirement

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are required to keep a record of your personal data in order to comply with the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983, Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, Representation of the People Regulations 2001 and Electoral Registration (Disclosure of Electoral Registers) Regulations 2013.

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