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 register
  • Your signature
  • Contact details including telephone numbers and email addresses

In addition if you work for the RO on election duties or the ERO for registration duties these may also include:

  • Tax status
  • Bank details
  • Details of previous employment
  • Other information e.g. whether you drive a car, where you would like to work

If you are a candidate at an election, an appointed agent at an election or a campaigner, we may also hold these details:

  • Political party affiliation
  • Campaign group affiliation

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 a complete and accurate register
  • Processing any absent (postal or proxy) voting applications
  • Delivering elections and referendums

Electoral Register

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.

Canvass

The ERO is required to conduct an annual canvass of all households in his area to check that existing records are up to date and to identify people missing from the register.  This is an integral part of the year round registration process. 

The UK Government is proposing to reform the annual canvass process in 2020.  In preparation for this, alongside the 2019 canvass there will be a mandatory national data matching step.  Local data matching will also be undertaken.

Poll Cards and Postal Vote Packs

The RO will specifically use personal information on the register to produce poll cards and postal voting packs.

Who do we share your information with? 

  • We are required by law to provide copies of the electoral register to certain organisations and individuals.  Details of who can be provided with this information can be found at www.electoralcommission.org.uk and includes political parties, elected representatives, candidates & agents, credit reference agencies, the Electoral Commission, the Boundary Commission for England, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, the British Library and the Office of National Statistics.
  • 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 (DWP) 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
  • To allow the mandatory new data matching step referred as part of the annual canvass, the entries we hold on you on the register at the start of the 2019 canvass will be sent via the IER-DS and matched against data held by the DWP.  These results will then be compared to the end of canvass register to allow the ERO to plan resources for the 2020 canvass.  We will also be data matching the entries against other data sets held by the council, such as council tax
  • 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 also 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 open register can be sold to any person, company or organisation for a wide range of purposes such as direct marketing 
  • We share your information with our software provider and contracted printers to compile and manage the register, to provide online response services, to print poll cards, postal vote packs and other electoral registration and election materials
  • Details of whether you have voted (but not how you have voted) to those entitled in law to receive it after an election
  • 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
  • We are required by law to provide certain information to appropriate authorities – for example:
    • where a formal court order has been issued
    • for the prevention and detection of a crime
    • to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau those persons who are aged 76 or over and are no longer eligible for jury service

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
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulation 2002
  • European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006
  • Local Elections (Principal Areas) Rules 2006
  • Greater London Authority Election Rules 2007
  • European Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Regulations 2009
  • The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Amendment Rules 2011
  • Greater London Authority Elections (Amendment) Rules 2012
  • Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) Regulations 2012
  • 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 a complete and 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

Mark Bowen (Director of Corporate Services)

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: