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Privacy notice - Electoral Services

Who are we and what do we do?


The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and Returning Officer (RO) are data controllers who collect and 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.

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).

What type of personal data do we collect and how do we collect it?

  • basic details about you, for example, name, address, date of birth and nationality;
  • unique identifiers (such as your NI number);
  • 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;
  • notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us;
  • scanned application forms & dates of any letters of correspondence;
  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the Register

What is our legal power to obtain and use personal data?


The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and Returning Officer (RO) are obliged to process your personal data in relation to preparing for and conducting elections.

Our legal obligation is governed by the following legislation:

  • Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013;
  • Representation of the People Act 1983;
  • Representation of the People Regulations 2001

What is your personal data used for?


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 by appointment only 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.

Will your personal data be shared?


Electoral information held at this office may be shared with other organisations in the course of carrying out our functions, or to enable others to perform theirs.

We will only share information where there is a lawful basis to do so for the following reasons:

  • to contracted printers to print your Poll cards, Postal Packs & other electoral material;
  • to registered political parties for electoral purposes or the purposes of electoral registration;
  • to elected representatives for purposes in connection with the office by virtue of which they are entitled to the full register or for electoral purposes;
  • to candidates and agents for purposes of nominations, campaigning and complying with the controls on donations;
  • 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

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

The process of checking citizens’ personal identifiers to ensure eligibility for inclusion in the Electoral Register, is controlled by the Cabinet Office via the IER Digital Service.

This includes:

  • The Department for Work and Pensions who use data provided to verify the identity of new applicants;
  • The Cabinet Office will inform the old local authority of people who have moved area

How do we keep your personal data secure?


Access to your information is strictly governed and where not made publicly available via our open registers we will ensure that is kept safe and secure. Only staff who should need access to your data will be enabled and your information is held securely within our operating systems which are reviewed and monitored on a regular basis.

How long will we keep your personal data?


The Electoral Registration Officer & 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.

Is your personal data processed overseas?


Information will be processed within the EEA and will not be shared with overseas recipients.



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.

What are your information rights?


Your Information Rights are set out in law and, subject to some exceptions, you have the:

  • Right to rectification - to ask for information to be corrected
  • Right to erasure - to have your personal data deleted
  • Right to object - to how your data is used
  • Right to restriction - to request limits on how your data is used
  • Right to portability - to request that we move your data to another organisation
  • Right of subject access - to request a copy of data the Council holds about you

Making a complaint


If you have a concerns about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner's Office. Visit the website of the Information Commissioner's Office.



If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice or your information rights, please contact:

The Data Protection Officer
Middlesbrough Council
PO Box 500, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FT
Phone: 01642 245432
Email: dataprotection@middlesbrough.gov.uk