Who will your information be shared with?

Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral (full) register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure that only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:

  • Detecting crime (e.g. fraud)
  • Calling people for jury Service
  • checking credit applications

The electoral register is published once a year (usually on 1 December) and is updated regularly throughout the year. The current version of the full register can only be supplied to a specific set of people and organisations, who are entitled to obtain the register from us.

The use of the full register is set out in legislation, and it is an offence for it to be used for any purpose other than that for which it was supplied. 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 to see it.

A full list of people who can access the register, and the ways in which they can use your data can be found on The Electoral Commission website.

Anyone can inspect the full register.

  • Inspection will be made under supervision
  • They can take extracts from the register, but only as hand written notes
  • Information must not be used for direct marketing purposes, unless it has been published in the open register.
  • Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but it is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details.

Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

We will also have to disclose (share) your information with our software providers and contracted printers. They will only use it under our instruction, and for the purpose of allowing us to discharge our statutory duties. They won’t use it for any other reasons, and will securely dispose of the information once they no longer require it.

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.

Any contact details you provide us with during any interaction with us will be securely stored, and will not be passed on to anyone else. We will only use it to contact you regarding your entry on the Electoral Register.

The Electoral Registration Officer has a legal obligation to share some of the information. This includes absent voter information and copies of the marked register (this is the register which indicates whether someone has voted, but no how or for whom they have voted), which can be supplied to the following people:

  • Elected Representatives
  • Election Candidates
  • Political Parties (local, constituency and national branches)
  • The Electoral Commission
  • Police forces and similar bodies

The Marked register can also be made available for inspection in certain circumstances.

The Returning Officer is legally obliged to publish certain personal information (relating to election candidates and agents, as well as details of who subscribed to nomination papers) in the form of public notices.

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