Home Privacy Notice for Electoral Registration and Voting at Elections
Privacy Notice for Electoral Registration and Voting at Elections
Data Controller’s contact details:
Electoral Registration Officer, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking RH4 1SJ. Telephone: 01306 885001.
Returning Officer, Mole Valley District Council (“MVDC”), Pippbrook, Dorking RH4 1SJ. Telephone: 01306 885001.
Data Protection Officer:
Mr Tom Penlington (Solicitor): Telephone: 01306 879354
The Legal basis for and the purpose of processing:
The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer (“ERO” and “RO”) has statutory duties set out in legislation in relation to the maintenance of a register of electors and the running of elections.
Legislation makes it compulsory to provide certain information to an Electoral Registration Officer in order to enable them to:-
- Check eligibility for registration
- Produce the full register of electors and the open (edited) register of electors
- (at your request) process an application for an absent vote
- (at your request) process an anonymous application
- (at your request) ensure that you do not appear on the open (edited) register
- (at your request) provide you with a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) to use as photo ID in order to vote at polling stations
The ERO, RO, their deputies and all other staff (such as Canvassers, Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks and including staff provided by Mole Valley District Council’s Democratic Services or other teams) (“We”) process your personal data in the public interest to ensure that you are registered to be able to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible and in order to perform tasks which are vested in the ERO and RO by UK law.
We are required to ask your nationality. This may be sensitive personal data. Other sensitive personal data that we may process includes information that is provided from disabled voters who require assistance in the polling station on election day or information that may be supplied by voters when making a VAC application. The sensitive personal data we process is collected for purposes of substantial public interests on the basis of law which is proportionate to the aim pursued. In doing so we respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for measures to safeguard your interests as outlined in our policy document.
If you decide to vote, we mark the register of electors to show you have voted (but not how you have voted). This is in the public interest in order to ensure the integrity of the voting process and is necessary to perform a public duty which is vested in the RO through their elections staff by the law.
When you contact us, you may be asked for your email and telephone contact details in order that we may contact you with regards to any queries we have on your application. Such information is only processed if we have your consent and you can ask for this information to be deleted at any time as set out below under the heading Data Subject Rights.
The records we hold include:-
- Your name, address, nationality, date of birth, telephone number, email address and national insurance number
- 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
- The marked registers which show whether or not you voted (but not how you voted)
- Information you have provided in the polling station on election day if you are disabled and have requested assistance to cast your vote.
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. You can find more information about this here: https://www.registertovote.service.gov.uk/register-to-vote/privacy.
Changes to the way in which the annual canvass of electors is undertaken will take place in 2020. This change to the canvass process requires the ERO to share your data (name, previous name, address and date of birth) with the Department of Work and Pensions. This is an annual mandatory data matching step to check the records we hold, with those of the Department of Work and Pensions.
The source of the personal data:
For the purposes of the electoral register, you are the applicant and the source of the personal data about you and members of your household.
Personal information relating to you and your household may also be gathered from other local sources such as Council Tax records.
When you choose to vote, the election staff make a mark on a copy of the register of electors.
Recipients and categories of recipients of the personal data:
The information you provide is held in electoral register which is managed by electoral registration staff employed by Mole Valley District Council. Using information received, we 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
- Local and National Political Parties
- 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
- Please note that personal information held on or in connection with MVDC’s electoral register may be passed to Surrey County Council on request to assist with its local track and trace response to the coronavirus pandemic. Further detail can be found on MVDC’s coronavirus privacy notice: https://www.molevalley.gov.uk/mvdc-coronavirus-privacy-notice, Surrey County Council’s privacy notice: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/your-privacy/our-privacy-notices/local-tracing-partnership and Public Health England’s privacy notice: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/help/privacy-notice.
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 can be fined 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.
The Department for Work and Pensions will also use your information to verify your eligibility for the electoral register. They won’t use it for any other reasons and they have to look after it in the same way. You can view their privacy information here.
In order to administer the register and run elections/referendums we have to disclose (share) your information with the Software providers and contracted printers. They will store your information but only on our instruction. They won’t use it for any other reasons and they have to look after it in the same way we would.
Any person may inspect the marked register, plus the marked copies of the postal voters list, the list of proxies, and the proxy postal voters lists, and such other documents relating to an election. Any person wanting to inspect such documents must apply in writing and must state:
- which register or document they wish to inspect
- whether they wish to inspect a printed or data copy (where appropriate)
- the purposes for which any information will be used
- where the request concerns the marked register or lists, why inspection of the full register or unmarked lists would not be sufficient to achieve the purpose
- who will be inspecting the documents, and
- the date on which they wish to make the inspection
Requests may be refused in certain situations, but if the request is refused, the full register would be made available.
Marked copies of the register of electors, plus the marked copies of the postal voter list, the list of proxies, and the proxy postal voters lists, all must, if requested, be supplied to specified persons on payment of a prescribed fee.
The request must be made in writing and must specify:
• which of the marked register or lists (or relevant parts of them) are requested;
• whether printed or data copies are requested; and
• the purpose for which the data will be used and why the supply of the full data would not be sufficient to achieve that purpose.
Applications have to come from an allowed person/body including:
- the Electoral Commission
- elected representatives for electoral purposes
- local constituency parties
- registered political parties
- police forces and other security agencies
- government departments and other bodies
The cost of a marked document is prescribed. Details of the charges will be provided on request.
Sometimes we have to provide your details to other authorities, organisations or people such as the police and other security forces as detailed above. This is for the prevention or detection of crime, or because of legal matters, for example.
Additional processing of personal information at General Elections
The ERO/RO for Epsom and Ewell District Council’s geographical area processes personal information for and on behalf of the ERO/RO for MVDC’s residents in the following wards: Ashtead Common, Ashtead Park and Ashtead Village.
The ERO/RO for MVDC’s geographical area processes personal data for the ERO/ RO for the following Guildford Borough Council wards: Clandon and Horsley, Effingham, Lovelace, Send, and Tillingbourne.
Both arrangements take place as a result of a legal duty, and insofar as any sensitive personal data is being processed this will be for purposes of substantial public interests on the basis of law which is proportionate to the aim pursued. When processing this sensitive personal information we respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for measures to safeguard your interests as outlined in our policy document.
Other processing of personal information
The ERO/RO will process other personal information in connection with its election duties where this is reasonably necessary. For example:
The RO is authorised by statute to process the personal data of candidates for nominations purposes.
The processing of the names, telephone numbers and email addresses of key holders of polling stations is permitted because there are contracts in place to ensure the elections staff can enter and set up the polling stations so electors can vote from 7am on election days. This information will also be shared, where necessary, with the Economic Development team for the public task of contacting businesses who are eligible for a Business Grant in relation to the Government’s scheme due to Covid-19.
Printers can also be commissioned to print the electoral register and other information required as part of the elections process.
If there is a potential claim in respect of any tasks undertaken by, or on behalf of the ERO/RO then personal information in respect of this may be passed to our insurers.
MVDC is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and to this end may use the information you have provided on this form for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes. This includes MVDC’s statutory participation in the Cabinet office’s National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercises. For further information about data sharing for fraud prevention and investigation, see www.molevalley.gov.uk/datasharing.
Further information on onward transfers
The ERO/RO will not transfer the personal data you have provided outside of the UK or EU unless this is permitted in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.
How long will be personal data be kept for
The ERO/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 MVDC’s Records Retention and Disposal Schedule.
Statutory Obligation to provide the personal data
There is a statutory obligation to provide the data to other bodies and individuals as outlined above.
Automated decision making
The personal data provided by you will not be used for any automated decisions.
Data subject rights
You have some specific rights in respect of your personal data. These may include some or all of the following rights to:
- see what personal data about you the ERO/RO holds at any time (subject to certain caveats)
- have the ERO/RO correct any errors (if any) in the personal data held about you and to have incomplete personal data completed. In certain circumstances the ERO/RO can retain the personal data in dispute. You will be informed whether this is the case when we respond to your request
- request your personal data is erased (though this right will not apply if the ERO/RO is processing your personal data because it is necessary to comply with a legal obligation or because the ERO/RO is carrying out a task in the public interest or under an official authority given to the ERO/RO)
- request processing of your personal data is restricted (this will only apply in certain situations, for example where its accuracy is contested, where the processing is unlawful and where you oppose its proposed erasure by the ERO/RO or where the ERO/RO no longer needs to process the personal data, but it is required by you in connection with legal claims)
- object to the processing (where the processing is necessary for a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Data Controller) though the ERO/RO will still be able to continue with the processing in certain circumstances, such as if there are compelling grounds for the processing which over ride your interests.
Where any data is collected by consent you have the right to withdraw your consent. How you do this will be communicated at the same time as your consent is given.
You can also withdraw your consent at any time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Will the personal data be processed for a different purpose?
No – other than as set out above. If the ERO/RO needs to inform recipients about any action it has taken under the Data Protection Act then it will do so by placing a Notice on MVDC’s website informing the public of any relevant changes.
If you are dissatisfied with how your personal data is processed by the ERO/RO, then you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner who can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, and Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.
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