Elections privacy notice

This Privacy Notice is designed to help you understand how and why North Yorkshire Council processes your personal data. This notice should be read in conjunction with our corporate privacy notice.

Who are we?

North Yorkshire Council is a ‘data controller’ as defined by Article 4(7) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). The electoral registration officer and returning officer (including acting, deputy, and local) are the ‘data controllers’ as defined by Article 4(7) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).

The electoral registration officer and returning officer are data controllers and collect personal data you provide 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.

The council has appointed Veritau to be its Data Protection Officer. Their contact details are:

Information Governance Office


West Offices

Station Rise


North Yorkshire


Email: infogov@northyorks.gov.uk

Tel: 01904 552848

What personal information do we collect?

The elections registration officer will collect the following categories of personal information:

  • your name, address, nationality and date of birth
  • contact details (email address and telephone number)
  • details of any change in circumstance such as change of name or address
  • national insurance number
  • signatures including for the purposes of absent vote checking
  • application forms
  • documentary evidence and copies of correspondence received
  • information relating to the other occupants in your home
  • your opt in/out preference for the open electoral register
  • details of postal vote arrangements including address where postal vote is to be sent to, reason to apply for a waiver of signature requirement, permanent, one off or set period
  • details of proxy voting arrangements including proxy’s details, their relationship, supporter’s declaration in respect of employment/disability
  • special declarations you have made or relevant circumstances/arrangements you have told council about such as anonymous registrations
  • notes about any relevant information you have told us

The returning officer will process the following categories of personal information:

  • election staff – name, address, nationality, date of birth, national insurance number, bank account details, contact details, eligibility to work in the UK status
  • candidates – name, address, date of birth, consent to nomination details, nomination description, contact details, signature, name and signature of proposer, seconder and assentors
  • nominations – name, address, description, contact details, signature; agent’s name, address, office, contact details, signature; name & signature of proposer, seconder and assentors
  • polling venues – venue details, name, address, contact details of booking agent, keyholder(s), account payee, bank account details, any notes

As part of our duties, we may be required to collect sensitive personal information or certain types of special category information. Special category information may be processed through the documentary exceptions process, the anonymous registration process or in relation to elections staff.

Why do we collect your personal information?

The electoral registration office (‘ERO’) is legally obliged to collect the categories of personal data specified above to produce an electoral register. The electoral register is then used by the returning officer to facilitate the running of elections and to ensure effective conduct of the elections process. This is required to allow you to vote. If you do not provide the ERO with the requested information, you may not be able to vote and you may be breaking the law (as it is a legal obligation to register).

The information you provide is held in electoral registers which are managed by electoral registration officers who, using the 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. The ERO will include your name on the electoral register so that you are able to vote by your chosen method.

Who do we obtain your information from?

The ERO is legally entitled to inspect and make copies of local records such as Council Tax and customer service records for the purposes of their registration duties (Regulation 35, Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001). Therefore, to fulfil their duties, the ERO may collect information from specific areas of the council. All other information is collected from you during the election process.

Who do we share this information with?

The council’s electoral registration officer will share information with the returning officer so that they can ensure proper conduct of the election process, and the council, who support the administration of the election.

The council will share your information with our contracted printers in order to print and post your poll cards, postal packs, and other registration and election material.

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 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 how your data is used on the GOV.UK website.

The electoral register is re-published once a year and is updated monthly. The council are also legally required to share the full register with particular people and organisations who are mandated as statutory recipients of the electoral register. Further information can be found from the electoral commission here. We are also required to share details of whether you have voted (but not how you voted) to those who are entitled in law to receive it after an election.

The open register contains the same information as the full register but is not used for elections or referendums. It 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. Your name will be included on the open register unless you ask for it to be removed. Removing your details from the open register will not affect your right to vote.

How long do we keep your information for?

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.

What is our lawful basis for processing your information?

North Yorkshire Council relies on the following lawful basis to process your personal data:

  • UK GDPR article 6 (1)(c) – processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject
  • UK GDPR article 6 (1)(e) – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest

The legislations, policies and guidance that relate to this service includes, but is not limited to:

  • electoral administration act 2006
  • electoral registration (disclosure of electoral registers) regulations 2013
  • electoral registration and administration act 2013
  • equality act 2010
  • EU general data protection regulation (gdpr) 2018
  • local elections (parishes and communities) (England and Wales) rules 2006
  • local elections (principal areas) (England and Wales) rules 2006
  • political parties, elections and referendums act 2000
  • representation of the peoples act 1983, 1985 and 2000
  • representation of the peoples regulations 2001, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

For more information about how we use your data, including your privacy rights and the complaints process, please see our corporate privacy notice.