Privacy notice for Electoral Services

This privacy notice is to be read in conjunction with the full London Borough of Bromley’s privacy & cookies statement.

This notice sets out how Electoral Services for the London Borough of Bromley (the council) will use and process your information.

Who is responsible for the information?

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and the Returning Officer (RO) are data controllers who collect and use information about residents, candidates, election agents, and election and electoral registration staff to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are statutorily responsible.  

What type of information is collected about you? 

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 records may include:

  • Basic details about you – for example, your name, address, date of birth and nationality
  • Unique identifiers – such as your national insurance number
  • Scanned application forms and dates of any letters of correspondence
  • Notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us
  • Your previous or redirected address
  • The other occupants in your home
  • If you are over 76 or under 18
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the Open version of the Register of Electors (the register)
  • Your signature
  • Contact details including telephone numbers and email addresses
  • Your tax status
  • Details of previous employment

Why do we collect this information?

This information will be used for the functions of Electoral Services.  These functions are undertaken on behalf of the ERO and RO in the public interest for the purposes of:

  • Registering your right to vote
  • Producing and maintaining an accurate register
  • Processing any absent (postal or proxy) voting applications
  • Delivering elections and referendums

The ERO is required by law to publish two versions of the register:

  1. The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote.  It is used for electoral purposes such as making sure only eligible people vote.  It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law such as detecting crime (fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit.
  2. The open register is an extract of the electoral register but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any third party who may use it for any purpose.  

The law requires that we make the open register available for sale.   Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed (opt out). You can opt out of this version at any time.

The electoral register is published once a year (usually each December) and is updated on the first working day of each month between January and September.

Who do we share your information with? 

To verify your identity and your eligibility for the register, the information you provide on any application form to register to vote will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IER-DS) managed by the Cabinet Office.  As part of this process your information 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 more information about this at www.registertovote.service.gov.uk.

Anyone can inspect hard copies of the electoral register (containing information on all registered electors) at the main reception at Bromley Civic Centre under strict control.  Inspection is under supervision.  Hand written notes may be made, but no copies or photographs of the register are allowed.  Information taken 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 may be charged a penalty of up to £5,000.

The law restricts who can be supplied with the electoral register.  Details of who can be provided with this information can be found at www.electoralcommission.org.uk

The open register can be sold to any person, company or organisation for a wide range of purposes such as direct marketing. 

We also share your information with our software provider and contracted printers for the purposes of carrying out our duties of electoral registration and delivering elections and referendums.

Staffing data may be shared with other Returning Officers and Electoral Registration Officers as appropriate.  All staff details will also be shared with the payroll provider and HMRC in order to make payments.

Details of candidates, election agents, subscribers to nomination papers and other political campaigners may be published where the law requires us to do so.

What is the legal basis for the collection, processing and retention of your personal information? 

The collection, processing and retention of your information is governed by law (including):

  • Local Government Act 1972
  • Representation of the People Act 1983
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulation 2001
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006
  • Local Elections (Principal Areas) Rules 2006
  • Greater London Authority Election Rules 2007
  • The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013
  • Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013
  • Electoral Registration (Disclosure of Electoral Registers) Regulations 2013

The law makes it compulsory to provide information to the ERO when requested.  This is for the compilation and maintenance of an accurate electoral register.

The RO has a statutory duty to collect and retain information from candidates and their agents, staff employed at an election and voters.

This information may be kept in either digital format (i.e. data within a software system or scanned) or hard copy printed format or both.

How long do we hold your information?

The ERO and RO 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. 

What rights do you have? 

You are entitled to request (in writing) a copy of any information about you that we hold (known as ‘right of subject access’).  You are entitled to receive this record, free of charge and 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.

You have the right to request erasure of your personal information (‘right to be forgotten’).  You have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal information, in certain circumstances.  Where possible, we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to comply with a legal requirement.

You have other rights, for example, if there is an error in your records you have the right to make sure it is rectified or erased.  You have the right to opt out of the open register, at any time, and we must remove you from this version and tell statutory recipients.  You have the right to be told if we have made a mistake whilst processing your information and we will self-report breaches to the Information Commissioner, when appropriate.

If you are dissatisfied with how the ERO/RO has used your personal information, you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at casework@ico.org.uk

Data Controller

Doug Patterson (Electoral Registration Officer & Returning Officer)

Address: Electoral Services, Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley BR1 3UH

Tel: 0300 303 8665

Email:

Data Protection Officer

Mark Bowen (Director of Corporate Services)

Address: Electoral Services, Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley BR1 3UH

Tel: 0300 303 8665

Email: