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Electoral Services Privacy Notice

Under GDPR, individuals have the right to be informed about the collection and use of their personal data. This privacy notice relates to Electoral Services

What is the purpose of 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 district of Fenland.  The law requires us to share this date with various agencies and parties.

Electoral Services are also responsible for managing elections in the district.  This involves using the data collected to enable people to vote, and to enable parties and candidates to participate.

Personal data is collected from 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 have legal powers to collect this data.

What are the laws that govern the collection and use of this data?

The following is a list of all primary and secondary legislation relevant to the collection, processing and retention of personal data by Electoral Services:

  • Local Government Act 1972
  • Representation of the People Acts 1983, 1985 and 2000
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006
  • Electoral Administration Act 2013
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 and 2006
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No 2) 2006
  • European Parliamentary Elections (Registration of Citizens of Accession States) Regulations 2003
  • European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004
  • European Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Regulations 2009
  • Local Elections (Principal Areas) Rules 2006
  • Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007
  • The Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
  • The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Rules 2011
  • Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) Regulations 2012

What is the purpose of collecting information about you?

We are legally required to collect information so that we can determine if you are eligible to vote, and to record you as a legitimate voter. 

We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at an election and the people we need to pay.  These may be written down (manual records) or kept on a computer (electronic records).

These records may include:

  • basic details about you, for example, name, address, date of birth and nationality
  • unique identifiers, such as National Insurance number.  Your National Insurance Number is redacted as soon as we determine your eligibility
  • scanned application forms and dates of any letters of correspondence
  • notes about any relevant circumstance that you have told us
  • details and records about the service you have received
  • your previous or any redirect 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.

To verify your identity when you register, 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 out more information at Register to Vote

What other data do we collect?

Data is also collected on electoral registration and on election staff, so that we can employ staff 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.

Under The Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, Section 35, we are able to inspect other local authority records.  We inspect Council Tax records to determine whether people should still remain registered at an address and identify potential new electors, and we also collect e-mail addresses and telephone numbers for electors from the Council Tax database.

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 the information received, keep two registers - the full electoral register and the open (edited) register.

The full register is published once a year, and updated every month (except in October and November).  This 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 election
  • Local and national political parties and registered campaigners
  • The Council
  • Parish and Town Councils
  • Police forces and the National Crime Agency
  • Government departments or bodies
  • Credit reference agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Partner Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers.

We also have to disclose your information with our software providers and contracted printers for the purposes of carrying out our duties in relation to 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 for doing so.

What is the full register?

The full register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections.  The register is used for electoral purposes and also for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime, calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.  Anyone can inspect the full register under supervision.  Extracts can be taken from the register, but only as handwritten notes.  In accordance with data protection legislation, information must not be used for direct marketing purposes 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.

What is 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 appearing on the open register.  It is updated and published every month, and can be sold to any person, organisation or company who requests this, 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 and online directory firms.

You can choose whether or not to have your personal details (name and address) included in the open version of the register.  It is important to note that they are included by default 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 for?

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are obliged to process your personal data in relation to preparing for and conducting elections.  Your details are kept and updated in accordance with legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods.

What are your rights?

You are entitled to request a copy of any information that we hold about you.  Any such requests must be made in writing.  If the information we hold about you is inaccurate, you have the right to have this corrected.  You also have the right to request that incomplete data is updated.

You have the right to request the deletion of your personal data in certain circumstances (the 'right to be forgotten').  You also have the right to request that we stop or restrict the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances.  Where possible, we 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 or Returning Officer have used your personal information, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office at

What is the statutory requirement in relation to the collection and provision of your data?

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 People Act 1983, the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, the Representation of the People Regulations 2001 and the Electoral Registration (Disclosure of Electoral Registers) Regulations 2013.

How can you contact us?

The data controller for the electoral register, the Electoral Registration Officer and the Returning Officer, can be contacted by:

  • Post: Electoral Services, Fenland District Council, Fenland Hall, County Road, March, Cambs, PE15 8NQ
  • Phone: 01354 654321
  • Email:

The Council's Data Protection Officer can be contacted at the same address and telephone above and by emailing

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