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Elections and voting privacy notice

What this privacy notice covers

This privacy notice explains why we ask for your personal information, how that information will be used and how you can access your records.

Everyone working for Electoral Services has a legal duty to keep and process information about you in accordance with the law. Our Data Protection Officer is John Medler and can be contacted by phone on 01775 761161, via email or by writing to us at Legal Services, South Holland District Council, Council Offices, Priory Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 2XE.

Your data will be processed by Public Sector Partnership Services Ltd (PSPS), formerly known as Compass Point Business Services, a company owned by East Lindsey and South Holland District Councils. PSPS's Data Protection Officer can be contacted via email, by phone on 01507 613303, or in writing to Data Protection Officer, Public Sector Partnership Services Ltd, The Hub, Mareham Road, Horncastle, LN9 6PH.

Why we need your personal data

We use information about citizens, electors and voters to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are responsible and to provide you with a statutory service relating to Electoral Registration and Elections, as defined by the Representation of the People Act 1983 and its associated regulations and the General Data Protection Regulation Article 6.1(e) that processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.

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). Where appropriate, we may rely upon Article 6.1(b) that processing is necessary for the performance of a contract.

These records may include:

  • basic details about you, for example, name, address, date of birth and nationality
  • unique identifiers (such as your NI number)
  • scanned application forms and dates of any letters or correspondence
  • notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us about
  • details and records about the service you have received
  • 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.

Occasions when your information needs to be disclosed (shared) include:

  • to contracted printers to print your Poll Cards, Postal Packs and other electoral material
  • to registered political parties, elected representatives, candidates, agents and other permitted participants who are able to use it for Electoral purposes only
  • Credit reference agencies, the British Library, UK Statistics Authority, the Electoral Commission and other statutory recipients of the Electoral Register
  • details of whether you have voted (but not how you have voted) to those who are entitled in law to receive it after an election
  • where the health and safety of others is at risk
  • when the law requires us to pass on information under special circumstances
  • crime prevention or the detection of fraud as part of the National Fraud Initiative.

Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential.

We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities - for example:

  • where a formal court order has been issued
  • to law enforcement agencies for the prevention or detection of a crime
  • to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau indicating those persons who are aged 76 or over and are no longer eligible for jury service.

Partner organisations:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions - 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 for Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service. The Cabinet Office will inform the old local authority of people who have moved area. View the GOV.UK register to vote privacy notice (opens new window).
  • Your data will be processed by Electoral Reform Services (ERS), 33 Clarendon Road, London, N8 0NW. Electoral Reform Services website (opens new window) produce Poll Cards, Postal Packs and other election and electoral registration material.

How your data is used

Your records are used to help ensure that we provide you with the service that you need. We will, based on your nationality, include your name on the Electoral Register so that you are able to vote by your chosen method.

The Electoral Register is a public document which can be viewed under strict control.

It is important that your records are accurate and up-to-date as they will help make sure that our staff are able to provide you with the help, advice or support you need.

If you do not provide us with this information then eligible citizens will not be able to vote and you may be breaking the law.

How long the information is kept for

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 our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods.

If your details are in the 'Open' version of the Electoral Register, your name and address can be sold to third parties who may use it for any purpose. You can opt-out of this version at any time and are given the opportunity annually as part of the Canvass of all households.

Access your records

The Data Protection Act 2018 (GDPR) allows you to find out what information is held about you, on paper and computer records. This is known as 'right of subject access' and applies to your Electoral Services records along with all other personal records.

If you wish to see a copy of your records you should contact the Data Protection Officer. You are entitled to receive a copy of your records free of charge, within a month.

In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited, for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.

Your rights

The Data Protection Act 2018 (GDPR) allows you other rights; for example if there is an error in your records you have the right to make sure it is rectified or erased.

We rely on Article 17.3(d) for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) in so far as the right referred to in paragraph 1 is likely to render impossible or seriously impair the achievement of the objectives of that processing.

You have the right to opt out of the Open Version of the Register, at any time, and we must remove you from this version and tell the statutory recipients in the next update.

You have the right to be told if we have made a mistake whilst processing your data and we will self-report breaches to the Information Commissioner's Office.

If you would like to know more about how we use your information, or if for any reason you do not wish to have your information used in any of the ways described in this privacy notice, please tell us by contacting Electoral Services on 01775 764837 or

You can also complain to the Information Commissioners Office website (opens new window).