Why we are collecting your data

The Electoral Registration Officer is a data controller. This means we need to collect your personal data for the purpose of registering your right to vote. 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. 

Information collected

  • Your name, address, nationality and date of birth
  • Unique identifiers, such as National Insurance Number and signatures for absent vote checking 
  • Scanned application forms, documentary evidence and 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 or under 16/17 
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register. 

We also keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at an election. We may keep them as written records, or on a computer.  

The basis for the processing

We do this as a legal obligation to comply with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 and Representation of the People Regulations 2001. This ensures you are registered to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible. The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an electoral registration officer for inclusion in the full register.   

Who we will share your information with

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: 

  • 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 
  • Credit Reference Agencies 
  • National Fraud Initiative 
  • Electoral Registration and Returning Officers 

We also need 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. 

We will never sell your data. However, we may share some of your personal information with third parties to:

  • help prevent fraud. We may share your information with credit reference agencies and other companies for use in credit decisions.  Credit agencies may record these searches, but that will not affect your credit standing.
  • pursue people or companies who owe us money. We may share your information with debt collection agencies.
  • help business partners, suppliers and sub-contractors to deliver any contract we enter with them or you.
  • help us if we are need additional professional or legal advice on a matter relating to you.
  • to improve and optimise the performance of our websites and social media accounts. Analytics and search engine providers that we use can collect your data when you interact with us online.  However, they will aggregate and anonymise the information, meaning we can’t identify any individual personally.
  • work out if a grant we have spent was successful in achieving its aims. This could be funding from a Government or a grant from a local, regional or national organisation such as Sport England and National/Heritage Lottery Fund. However, they will aggregate and anonymise the information, meaning we can’t identify any individual personally.  

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.

Candidates and potential candidates at elections and their agents

We collect the following information so that we may prepare elections notices, ballot papers and records, and communicate with you as part of the administration of elections:

  • Name
  • Address and postcode
  • Telephone details
  • Email address
  • Membership of political party
  • Names of subscribers
  • Other details such as letters, emails and notes in relation to your involvement and role in an election
  • Reports of declarations of results
  • Declarations of registerable interests and acceptance of office forms of elected representatives

We are required by law to publish relevant details on various election notices. These include: 

  • candidate name
  • candidate address (unless the home address form is completed)
  • agent name and address 
  • names of subscribers  

How long we hold your data

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.  

Your rights 

You have the right to access the personal information we hold about you.  Any access requests are free of charge.

If the information we hold about you is inaccurate, you have a right to have this corrected and you have the right to request completion of incomplete data.

You have the right to ask us to erase your personal data in certain circumstances (‘right to be forgotten’).

You have the right to ask us to stop or restrict the processing of your personal data, in certain circumstances.  Where possible, we will seek to comply with your request, but we may need to hold or process information to comply with a legal requirement.

Whether provision of data is part of a statutory or contractual requirement. The Council is required to keep a record of your personal data in order to comply with the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, Representation of the People Regulations 2001 and Electoral Registration (Disclosure of Electoral Registers) Regulations 2013. 

You can make any of these requests by:

  • Emailing ir@chelmsford.gov.uk
  • Or sending a letter to:

Digital Services 
Chelmsford City Council
Civic Centre
Duke Street

If you are dissatisfied with how we have used your personal information, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at casework@ico.org.uk

Identity of Data Protection Officer 

Our designated Data Protection Officer is John Breen.

You can contact him by emailing ir@chelmsford.gov.uk

Contact details 

Chelmsford City Council
Civic Centre
Duke Street


Email: ir@chelmsford.gov.uk 

Telephone: 01245 606606


You can also view the Privacy Notice for individuals employed at elections or referendums.

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