Privacy notice - Electoral Services
Wiltshire Council has a duty to protect personal information and will process personal data in accordance with the current Data Protection legislation.
The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are registered as data controllers with the Information Commissioner's Office. For Wiltshire Council, the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are the same person. Full details of the registration are available at ICO register of data controllers.
We can be contacted by phone, in person, or in writing.
We will process personal information to maintain the completeness and accuracy of the Electoral Register
There are two versions of the electoral register- the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).
When you register to vote online at gov.uk the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IERDS) managed by the Cabinet Office. You can see the privacy statement for IERDS on GOV.UK: Register to vote: - Privacy notice.
The Electoral Registration Officer is required by electoral law to provide the Returning Officer with copies of the register and absent voting lists for the purposes of administering elections or referenda.
The electoral register
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections.
The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:
- detecting crime (e.g. fraud)
- calling people for jury service
- checking credit applications
The open register
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. 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.
The Returning Officer will use information from the electoral register and absent voting lists to produce election documentation i.e. poll card, postal votes, polling station registers and other lists for the purposes of administering an election or referendum.
Information that is provided to the Returning Officer in candidates nomination papers will be used to publish statutory elections notices in accordance with electoral law. This includes:
- candidates name and address on ballot papers and election notices
- subscribers names on election notices
- election agents names and address on election notices
The Returning Officer will maintain a list of names and addresses and contact details for booking contacts and key holders for polling stations and count venues. This information will only be shared with election staff employed to work at the venues, staff that deliver and collect election equipment to and from the venues and any other staff employed by the Returning Officer as necessary to administer the election or referendum.
The Returning Officer will maintain a database of staff names and addresses and contact details for the employment of election and canvasser duties. This information will only be shared to colleagues working in the same polling station venue or those delivering equipment to the polling station, polling station inspectors, and any other staff employed by the Returning Officer as necessary to administer the election or referendum.
Our processing shall be lawful because processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the official authority vested in the Electoral Registration Officer as set out in the Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations.
Some of the information that is collected is classified as special category personal data. This is processed for reason of substantial public interest as set out in Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations.
Where necessary and lawful, or when required by legal obligation, we may share information with:
- Contracted printers for the purposes of producing election stationery such as poll cards
- Contracted software suppliers for the purpose of electoral registration
- The Department of Work and Pensions for the purpose of electoral registration (verifying applicants identity)
- Organisations who buy the edited register
- Other organisations who take part in the National Fraud Initiative
- Other occupants of the individuals address
- Permitted recipients of the full electoral register
- Data processors
- Returning Officer for Wiltshire
- (Acting) Returning Officer for the South Cotswold constituency
Staff who are employed by the Electoral Registration Officer or the Returning Officer may have data shared with the HR department of Wiltshire Council to conduct the annual canvass, including the HR and payroll team for recruitment and payment of election and canvassing duties.
Where a cross boundary election occurs with another local authority and where the Returning Officer for that authority will be the lead Returning Officer, the Electoral Registration Officer for Wiltshire is required by law to provide copies of the register and absent voting lists to them for the purposes of administering the Election.
We will process your personal data for the above purposes for no longer than necessary and in accordance with current legislation. Full details of our retention schedule may be found online.
Your rights are set out in the Data Protection legislation and include:
- the right to access your personal information, to request rectification or erasure of certain personal
- information and to object to processing in certain circumstances
- the right to withdraw any consent you may have given to process your personal information
- the right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you feel we are processing your personal information unlawfully
- the right to restrict processing activity in certain circumstances
- the right to object to certain types of processing activity
The information you are giving us is a statutory or contractual requirement. You are obliged to provide this information. Failure to provide this information may result in the following:
- Registration Application. If an application for registration is not made when required to do so the applicant may face a fine of £80. If false information is provided in the application and if convicted the applicant may be imprisoned for up to six months and/or face an unlimited fine.
- Household Enquiry Forms. It may be an offence to fail to provide the information asked for in this form and if convicted the applicant may be fined up to £1000.
If false information is provided in the application and if convicted the applicant may be imprisoned for up to six months and/or face an unlimited fine.
Electoral Services does not use automated decision making in respect to your personal information.
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 Works and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service.