Electoral services privacy notice
Our Electoral Services team is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.
For the purpose of the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Data Controller varies depending on the service. It is either the Electoral Registration Officer (for registration matters) or the Returning Officer (for election matters).
You can contact the relevant Data Controller at:
New Forest District Council
When you contact the Electoral Services team, we are likely to ask you for certain personal information in order to be able to assist with your enquiry. Some of this information will need to be recorded and stored on our systems.
On this page:
Types of personal data
The Electoral Services team may have to collect certain personal information from you. For example:
- your name and address
- your email address
- your National Insurance number
- your date of birth
- your nationality
- the reason why you require a postal or proxy vote
- any representations you may send to us during a period of consultation or engagement
- a photograph of you (for the purpose of processing an application for a free Voter Authority Certificate)
For registration issues, if we are unable to verify your identity using your date of birth and National Insurance number, we might request further evidence from you. This might include copies of your passport or driving licence.
How we use your data
We use your information in a variety of ways. These include:
- processing applications for registration
- processing applications for postal or proxy votes
- processing applications for a voter authority certificate
- checking eligibility to stand as candidates in elections
- checking eligibility to nominate candidates for elections
- for purposes of employing staff (for both electoral registration and election purposes)
- to understand your views on a particular topic during a period of consultation or engagement
How we store your data
The information we collect for the purpose of registration is added to the Register of Electors database. This is held by the council's Electoral Registration Officer.
Information collected from staff employed at elections, candidates and nominators is held by the council's Returning Officer.
We retain documents and personal data for set periods of time, which vary depending on the type of data. For details, download our Data Retention Schedule below.
Why we process your data
We are required by law to prepare an accurate register of electors and to manage elections. Specifically, we process your data to enable you to:
- vote in elections at the polling stations, by post or by proxy
- stand for election or support a candidate at an election
- work at an election or as an electoral registration canvasser
- make representation in response to a period of consultation or engagement
When and why we share your data
In order to enable the functions set out in paragraph 4, we need to share the information that you give us for checking your eligibility to register, with other departments in the Council and with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
If you move into or out of the New Forest area, we are also required to share your information with the Electoral Registration Officers of other authorities.
The full version of the electoral register must, by law, be made available for public inspection. You can make an appointment to view the electoral register at our main office.
The electoral register must be provided to the bodies and individuals listed in the document below.
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 DWP and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service.
Find out more about the privacy notice for electoral registration on the GOV.UK website.
The providers of our electoral registration and elections management system may also process your information, but only on our instructions. They will not use it for any other reasons, and are subject to the same privacy requirements as the council.
Our printing contractor will also use your information, but only on our instructions and only for electoral registration, voter authority certificate and elections purposes.
We will keep your information for a set period of time, known as the retention period. When the retention period expires, we will delete your information from our records.
Sometimes we are required by law to share information with other authorities, organisations or people. Examples of this include the prevention or detection of crime, or because of legal proceedings.
Unless you choose to opt out, your name will appear on the open register. Copies of the open register must, by law, be provided to any person or body on the payment of a statutory fee.
Staff employed by the Returning Officer for an election may have their contact details shared with council officers, or other employees of the Returning Officer, in order to facilitate communication prior to and during the election. We may also request and store the names and contact information of staff emergency contacts, for health and safety reasons.
In relation to a period of public consultation or engagement the council is required to publish any representations received. When we publish it will be limited to the first 4 digits of your postcode and you comments.
Legal grounds for processing your data
We process your information on one of the following grounds:
- to comply with the legal obligations placed upon the Electoral Registration Officer and on the Returning Officer
- where it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest
- with your consent.
We may process special categories of data, such as nationality information, on one of the following grounds:
- it is necessary for obligations under employment, social security law, and so on
- there is substantial public interest
- with your explicit consent.
Find out more about the council's Privacy Notice.
For further information, plus information on access, portability, withdrawal of consent, correction etc. please see:
For more information on data protection in general, or if you wish to make a complaint relating to how your personal data has been used, visit the Information Commissioner's Office website or call 0303 123 1113.