Elections and registration 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. The start of the canvass period a Household Enquiry Form is issued annually asking for confirmation of who is residing at the property. There will be a space to add the name of any individual who is not already shown and their nationality. They will then be invited to register.

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.

In accordance with electoral law the names of European Nationals who have completed a European Parliament voter registration form (Form EC6) and have confirmed they have previously registered in their home country - their names will be shared with the EU member state where they were previously registered.

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.

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
  • The names of European Nationals who have completed a European Parliament voter registration form (Form EC6) and confirmed previously registered in their home country. In accordance with electoral law their names will be shared with the EU member state where they were previously registered.

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 Household Enquiry 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 Household Enquiry 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.

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

Contact for Data Protection Officer: Sara Freckleton