How we use your personal information in the Electoral Registration and Administration Department
The Council provides services for local communities and the people who live in them. Undertaking this work means that we must collect and use information about the people we provide services to and keep a record of those services. Because we collect and use personal information about individuals we must make sure that they know what we intend to do with their information and who it may be shared with.
We have summarised in this privacy notice some of the key ways in which we use your personal information in our capacity of the Electoral Registration and Administration Department of the Council. This information should be read in conjunction with the Council’s corporate privacy notice.
1. Who we are, what we do
The Electoral Registration Officer (and when conducting Elections, the Returning Officer) is a data controller and collects the personal data you provide for the purpose of registering your right to vote and administering elections. 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.
2. What and whose personal information we hold?
The Department will hold personal information about you in our role as the Electoral Registration and Administration Department
This information 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
- If you are under 18, or under 16.
- Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register.
3. Where does the service get my information from?
In the vast majority of cases, the information comes directly from you. Sometimes other people may submit information on behalf of someone else, for example, through information supplied during the annual canvass which is used in the process of maintaining the Electoral Register.
In addition, outside agencies such as other local authorities may provide us with personal information.This may happen when you move into the area from another local authority area. If you are a student at the University of South Wales they may share you data with us, again as part of our responsibilities for maintaining the Electoral Register.
4. What we will do with your personal information?
We use it for electoral purposes including maintenance of the electoral register and to administer elections. We won't use it for any other purposes without your consent, or without telling you first.
Sometimes we have to give it to other authorities, organisations or people. This would be for the prevention or detection of crime, or because of legal matters, for example. We don't need your consent to do this, but if we can, we'll let you know if we've passed your information on.
The organisations we may share your information with are listed in Section 6 below.
All individual applications to register received throughout the year are uploaded daily to the Cabinet Office via a secure portal to verify that the application is valid.
From the 2020 canvass, the process begins with National annual canvass data matching via the Cabinet Office. All electors and properties held on the electoral register are uploaded securely to the Cabinet Office (14 and 15 year olds are excluded). The results of this match are then imported back into directly into the Electoral Registration Software.
Local Data matching will also be carried out against Council tax records to ensure the register is as accurate as possible.
The results of these data matches will provide the ERO with the required information to decide which canvass communications are initially sent to each property.
From June 2020, 14 and 15 year olds can apply to register to vote, as 16 year olds are eligible to vote in Senedd elections from 2021. Any applications received from young voters aged under 16 at time of submission can be verified against Education records. Once approved, their information will be held on the computer system but will not be included in outputs from the system such as registers and data files.
5. What is the legal basis for the use of this information?
We do this as a task carried out in the public interest to ensure you are registered to be able to vote in any election, or referendum for which you are eligible. And to comply with the;
Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013
Representation of the People Regulations 2001, and
Sections 16+24, Part 3 Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020
The Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019
The Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2020
The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an electoral registration officer for inclusion in the full register.
6. Does the service share my personal information with any other organisation?
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 (excluding 14 and 15 year olds):
- 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 (including annual data matching with Cabinet Office)
- 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.
7. How long will my information be kept?
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.
8. Your information, your rights
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you important rights, including the right to access the personal information the services hold about you.
Click here for further information on your information rights and how to exercise them.
9. Contact us
If you have any concerns or would like to know more about our use of personal information, please contact us in one of the following ways:
By email: email@example.com
By telephone : 01443 490100
In writing : RCTCBC, The Old Courthouse, Courthouse Street, Pontypridd, CF37 1JW