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Electoral Services privacy notice

This Privacy Notice explains how the personal data we collect about you is used and your rights in relation to that information.

What is the purpose for collecting your data?

We collect your personal information for the following purposes:

  • to undertake our statutory obligation to ensure that all eligible persons in the London Borough of Islington are registered to vote;

  • to enable eligible persons to stand as candidates in elections in accordance with statutory requirements;

  • to enable all registered electors to participate as voters in elections and referendums.

We will specifically use personal information on the Electoral Register to:

  • conduct an annual canvass of all households to establish all eligible persons who are entitled to be registered.

  • produce poll cards and postal ballot packs.

Who is collecting your data?

The Council appoints an Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) and a Returning Officer (RO) who has the legal powers to collect this data.

  • Stephen Biggs, Head of Paid Services is the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer

  • Kerry Wickens, Assistant Director of Elections and Corporate Support Services, is the data controller registered with the ICO

  • Leila Ridley is Assistant Director – Information Governance, Digital Contracts and Assurance, and Data Protection Officer (

The laws that govern the collection and use of this data

The following is a list of all primary and secondary legislation relevant to the collection, processing and retention of personal data:

  • Local Government Act 1972

  • Representation of the People Act 1983

  • Electoral Administration Act 2006

  • Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013

  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001

  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 and 2006

  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No 2) 2006

  • European Parliamentary Elections (Registration of Citizens of Accession States) Regulations 2003

  • European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004

  • Police (Scotland) Regulations 2004

  • European Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Regulations 2009

  • Local Elections (Principal Areas) Rules 2006

  • Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007

  • Greater London Authority Elections Rules 2007

  • The Local Authorities (Mayoral Elections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

  • The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Rules 2011 

  • Greater London Authority Elections (Amendment) Rules 2012

  • Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) Regulations 2012

  • The Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019

What data do we collect?

We are legally required to collect certain information so we can determine if you are eligible
to vote and to record you as a legitimate voter. This includes:

  • your name, address, nationality and date of birth;

  • unique identifiers such as National Insurance number and signature (for checking absent votes);

  • the other occupants in your home;

  • if you are over 76 years of age or 16/17 years of age;

  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register;

Other information we collect as part of an application may include:

  • scanned application forms, documentary evidence and other correspondence we receive from you;

  • your email address and/or telephone number. 

What other data do we collect?

We also collect data on electoral registration canvass and election staff so we can employ them to conduct electoral duties. The Returning Officer will use the information you provide to process your application and manage your employment. If you are employed we may share your mobile phone number with the staff you will be working with on the day. We will retain your data for six years after your last employment. For further details on how we handle your personal data, please refer to our Privacy Notice

Political parties and candidates are required to provide personal information when they wish to stand for election. Electoral law determines what data we have to request and how long we retain it.

Who do we share the data with?

The information you provide to us 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 and can only be
supplied to the following people and organisations:

  • British Library

  • UK Statistics Authority

  • Electoral Commission

  • Boundary Commission for England

  • Jury Summoning Bureau

  • Elected Representatives (MP, MEPS, Local Councillors)

  • Police and Crime Commissioner

  • Candidates standing for elections

  • Local and National Political Parties and Registered Campaigners

  • Islington Council

  • Parish and Community councils

  • Police Forces and the National Crime Agency

  • Public Library or local authority archive services

  • Government departments or bodies

  • Credit Reference Agencies

  • National Fraud Initiative

  • Partner Electoral Registration and Returning Officers

It is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to pass information from this register on to others, if they do not have a lawful reason.

The Full Register

The Full Register contains personal data (name and address only) on all registered electors. Anyone can inspect the full electoral register under supervision. They can take extracts from the register, but only by hand written notes. Information taken must not be used for direct marketing purposes, in accordance with data protection legislation, unless it has been published in the open version of the register. Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence and may be charged a penalty of up to £5,000.

The Open Register

The Open Register contains the same information as the full register, but is not used for elections or referendums. It is possible to opt-out of the Open Register. It is updated and published every month and 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.

You can choose whether or not to have your personal details included in the open version of the register; however, they will be included unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register will not affect your right to vote. Our software providers and printers will also store your information for the purposes of carrying out our duties of electoral registration and elections, but only on our instructions. They won’t use it for any other reasons, and they have to look after it in the same way we would. You can view our software providers their privacy information here and our printers’
privacy information here

To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IERDS) managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this process your data will be shared with the Department of Work and Pensions (whose privacy information can be found here) and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the IERDS. You can find more information about this here.

How long do we hold your data?

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.

Your Rights

You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. Any such requests must be made in writing. If the information we hold about you is inaccurate you have a right to have this corrected and you have the right to request completion of incomplete data.

You have the right to request the deletion of your personal data in certain circumstances (‘right to be forgotten’). You also have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal data, 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.

If you are dissatisfied with how the Electoral Registration Officer/Returning Officer have used your personal information we ask that you raise your concern/query with us in the first instance on the contact details below. Alternatively, you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at 

The Collection and Provision of your Data is a Statutory Requirement

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer are required to keep a record of your personal data in order to comply with the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983, Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, Representation of the People Regulations 2001 and Electoral Registration (Disclosure of Electoral Registers) Regulations 2013.

Further Information

If you have any questions or concerns about the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information, the electoral register, the Electoral Registration Officer and or the Returning Officer please contact us:

Electoral Services
Town Hall
Upper Street
N1 2UD

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.