Electoral services privacy statement

Why we collect information about you?

In accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 (RPA 1983) we have a statutory duty to maintain the register of electors.

This is necessary for legitimate interests and the processing of this information is used to maintain the register of electors and administering the election.

What information do we collect about you?


In accordance with the Representation of the People Regulations 2001 your name and address, date of birth, national insurance number and nationality. If your national insurance number is not provided you will be required to provide further documentary evidence which may include passport or driving licence and where this is not available other documents such as utility bills, bank statements to establish identity. Documentary evidence may also be requested to support a request to change a name on the register.

When registering you will have the opportunity to provide us with your telephone number and email address, which we may use to contact you for electoral purposes. This information is optional. You can make a request to remove/update your contact information if you have already provided us with these details.

Annual Canvass

In accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 the electoral registration officer has the duty to maintain registers of UK Parliamentary and local government electors containing the name, qualifying address and electoral number of those persons appearing on them to be registered in it. To establish the accuracy of the register we may use data held by other departments in the council. Under Regulation 26 of the Representation of the People Regulations 2001/Annual Canvass amendment Regulations 2019 Canvass communications will be issued to households either by post or email to confirm or establish if residents who are eligible have registered. These communications will enable a member of the household to confirm the information we hold is complete or to add the name of any individual who is not already registered and their nationality. They will then be invited to register.

Care Homes, Residential Homes, Nursing Homes, Student Accommodation and Houses of Multiple Occupancy are permitted to supply the name of a responsible person who will give the names of the residents, along with their nationality and whether they are aged 76* or over for the purposes of establishing whether those residents who are eligible have been registered.

*Age no longer eligible for jury service

The nationality or nationalities is required in order to determine which elections you are entitled to vote at.


If you make a request for a postal vote or proxy vote – you will need to give your date of birth and sample of your signature on the relevant forms in order that verification checks to be carried out when you submit your vote. Also as part of the proxy voting application process, certain information about a person’s health may also be captured (this is classed as special category data).

As part of our duty to conduct elections and referendums, we are also required to collect additional information to assist in this function.

This includes:

  • Information about candidates – this may include name, home address, place of work and employer, details of any land owned or occupied by the candidate, date of birth and party affiliation (if any)
  • Information about agents – this may include name, home and office address, party affiliation and contact details
  • Expenditure incurred and/or donations received as declared on Candidate’s Spending returns
  • Name and signature of anyone proposing, seconding or assenting to a candidate’s nomination
  • Name, address and signature if you have acted as a witness to a Candidate’s consent to nomination

Whether you have voted at a particular election or referendum, the method of voting (whether it was at a polling station or by post), but not how or for whom you voted

Temporary staff employed to administer the elections/annual canvass

We will require name, address, contact details and information to satisfy eligibility to work in the UK and requirements for payments of fees.

Temporary staff may also be invited to participate in a follow up survey to review processes used. Information collected will be used for this purpose only and personal identifiers will be removed after the closing date of the survey.

Boundary review, community governance review or polling station review

Any consultation responses including evidence submitted and your connection to the community as part of any boundary review, community governance review or polling station review.

Who do we share the information with?

  • To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral 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 the data processors for the Individual Registration Digital Service. You can find out more information about this here: www.registertovote.service.gov.uk/register-to-vote/privacy
  • The Electoral Register is a public document which can be viewed by appointment only under strict control. The Register is in address order within each polling district. It shows the names registered at the address (it does not show national insurance numbers or nationality).  However the one exception when the date of birth is also shown is when the person named is under the age of 18 years of age, this is to ascertain when eligible to vote
  • The Electoral Register can be shared with registered political parties, elected representatives, candidates, agents and other permitted participants, who are able to use it for Electoral Purposes only
  • The Electoral Register can be shared with Credit reference agencies, the British Library, UK Statistics Authority, the Electoral Commission and other statutory recipients of the Electoral Register
  • We also need to share your name and address with those who are employed to work at the polling stations (including appointed name of any appointed proxy) and those who issue and open postal ballot papers in order to conduct an election or referendum in accordance with electoral law
  • Details of whether you have voted (but not how you have voted) can be shared with to those who are entitled in law to receive it after an election
  • When the law requires us to pass on information under special circumstances -including other internal council departments including Council Tax and the Counter Fraud Unit to prevent and detect crime
  • Name, address and electoral numbers may be shared with contracted printers to print your poll cards, postal ballot packs and other electoral material
  • Information given by staff employed during the canvass period and elections is shared with our payroll provider – Publica, as required by HMRC and for remittance purposes
  • In line with the Canvass Reform Legislation which came into force 4 November 2019 elector names, including previous names, dates of birth and addresses will be shared with DWP/council tax and Cheltenham Borough Homes using a data matching exercise. This is to help establish if all the residents at the property are already registered. This data sharing may extend to other periods during the annual registration period
  • We do not routinely share registers with third parties. We may be asked to share specific information from the registers with other bodies such as other Cheltenham Borough Council departments, the police or other regulators. We will consider any requests on an individual basis, taking into account the rights of the data subject against any restrictions
  • Any boundary review, community governance review or polling station review's consultation responses and supporting evidence will be anonymised and published as part of the relevant consultation response and final recommendations on our website, interested individuals who have submitted a response/interest, elected members, parishes and towns, Gloucestershire County Council, any neighbouring authorities who need to provide comment, Local Boundary Commission for England and any working member group established. Each respective stage of the consultation and final recommendations

Is any information transferred to or stored on servers based outside the European Economic Area?


How long do we keep your information?

In order to provide you with this service, we rely on our legal obligation. 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 statutory retention periods.

Your national insurance number is not retained after the initial entry on the online registration and when the application is completed over the phone with a member of our team.

If given on manual forms the national insurance will be redacted after a maximum period of 12 months.

Who do we collect the information from?

Information is obtained from you, the individual elector via phone, paper, text, email, online and at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and responses given to canvasser.

Also via the CCB or the Canvass Form which has been completed by a member of the household.

What are the consequences of failure to supply data?

We will be unable to fulfil legal obligations associated with the organisation, preparation and conducting of elections within Cheltenham Borough Council.

Failure to respond to requests to register will result in the individual being unable to vote and they may be liable to a fine.

Failure by to respond to a CCB or Canvass Form is an offence, punishable on conviction by a fine of up to £1000.

You may find it difficult to obtain credit as credit reference agencies use the electoral register to confirm information supplied on applications for credit or other contracts i.e. mobile phone.

Are any decisions about you made by automatic means?


Right to object

This right does not apply when processing is required for the performance of a public task – such as maintaining the electoral register.

However section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1988 continues which allows electors the right to exclude them from the edited register (also known as the open register) on a personal basis (or until further notice). The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by a person, company or organisation. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

Right to withdraw consent

You can make a request to object to the use of your contact information that you have already given.

Voter Authority Certificates

From 16 January 2023, electors can request either via the GOV.UK Portal or in person or by completing a paper application a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) if they have no suitable photo identity that will be needed for voting. The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) will see the following personal information in order to process and determine an application:

  • Applicant's name (Forename, middle name, surname)
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Postcode
  • National Insurance number ("NINO")
  • Photograph (recent) - electronic (online) or hard copy
  • Required technical data such as IP address, 
  • Phone number (optional)
  • Email address (optional)
  • Cookie/behavioural tracking data

The ERO is the data controller, with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) providing the Portal access and will be a data processor. The ERO will manage the data on the Portal.

The GOV.UK portal is a processing tool, and the VAC preparation, printing and dissemination a service, provided by the DLUHC, so that the ERO can provide the VAC service required by legislation (the Elections Act 2022).

Via the portal, the elector can upload documentary evidence if they have not provided a NINO for the ERO to determine the identity of the applicant. This will be in document format and can include:

  • birth, marriage, civil partnership or adoption certificate
  • firearms certificate (granted under the Firearms Act 1968) • bail decision record
  • mortgage or pension statement
  • bank, building society or credit card statement, or account confirmation letter • utility bill
  • council tax statement or demand
  • current or previous employer's P45 or P60 • benefits or entitlement statement, including:
  • Universal Credit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payments
  • any other state benefits

For the printing and distribution of the VAC, personal information relating to applicants will be shared by the ERO to the print supplier, namely:

  • Applicant's name (Forename, middle name, surname)
  • Address
  • Photo image

Personal data will be redacted in accordance with data retention policies. Approved applications will be kept along with supporting evidence for 30 days and then personal information data will be redacted from the Portal leaving transactional data being held for 10 years.

Right to complain

Any breach of data held can be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office. Their contact information can be supplied on request or at www.ico.org.uk

For information:-

Name of data controller: Electoral registration officer

Data protection officer details