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Privacy notice

Reasons we are collecting your data

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) will use your data for the administration of the electoral roll and the conduct of elections. The ERO has a legal basis to collect and hold this information in the performance of a public task. This is in the public interest and is provided for in electoral law. We will only collect the personal data we need from you, in order to do this.

We will keep these records up to date and accurate so that we can provide you with the help and advice that you need.

Provision for us to collect this data is provided for in the Representation of the People Regulations 2001 and the Electoral Registration Administration Act 2013.

Information we collect from you

We collect personal information about you in order to verify your identity and ensure you are able to vote at the elections which you are entitled to do so. The personal data we collect can include:

  • your name and address
  • your contact details
  • your date of birth
  • your nationality
  • your National Insurance Number
  • the reason you need a signature waiver or proxy vote
  • occupants at your address
  • if you are over 76 or under 16/17
  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register
  • previous or redirected addresses
  • scanned application forms
  • any information contained within correspondence with Plymouth City Council

We will treat your personal information carefully, ensuring that your information is held confidentially on computer systems or in secure manual filing systems. As an organisation we are committed to our duty under the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018. For further information relating to the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 refer to the Information Commissioner.

Who we share your information with

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 on Register to Vote.

The information is managed by Electoral Registration Officers who use the information provided to create electoral registers. There are 2 types of register; the full electoral register and the open (edited) register. We share the full electoral register with outside organisations where we are required to do so by law (Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001). It is published once a year and updated every month.

We are required by law to provide the register to the following:

  • Credit reference agencies (Regulation 113/114)
  • Courts Service
  • The British Library (Regulation 97)
  • Boundary Commission for England (Regulation 101)
  • Political Parties (Regulation 105/106)
  • Elections candidates
  • Elected Representatives (MP, Local Councillors) (Regulation 103)
  • Parish and Town Councils (Regulation 107)
  • Office for National Statistics (Regulation 99)

We also have to disclose (share) your information with our contracted software and print providers. Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential and it is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to share it with anyone who does not have lawful reason to see it.

Anyone can inspect the full electoral register. However, the register can only be inspected under supervision and only hand written notes may be taken. Failure to comply with these conditions is a criminal offence.

The open register is an edited version of the register, but it is not used for elections. It can be sold to any person, organisation or company for a wide range of purposes including businesses and charities. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the electoral register does not affect your right to vote. For more information, visit GOV.UK.

Register anonymously

You may be able to register anonymously if you can show there is a good reason, for example if you’re concerned about your safety. Your details won’t appear on either version of the register if you register anonymously. Please contact us at if you want to register anonymously.

How long we keep your information

We hold historical versions of the electoral register securely for electoral purposes, including checking that applicants for overseas registration have been registered in the past 15 years. Historical versions are also held by the British Library and local archive services, primarily for
research purposes.

Forms relevant for registration, including 'Invitation to Register' forms and 'Household Enquiry' forms are securely destroyed once the information has been processed. Scanned images of these forms are kept on the computer system for as long as they are relevant.

National Insurance numbers are kept on our system for up to 13 months from when the application has been determined by the ERO.

Copies of Postal and Proxy vote application forms are kept for the duration of their validity, or a year after the relevant election - whichever is later. Evidence of name changes, nationality or identity are kept for the determination period (six days after they have been received and verified) and securely destroyed. The time scales for these retention periods is set out in legislation, specifically the Representation of the People Regulations 2013.

The Electoral Registration Officer is legally obliged to maintain an accurate register of electors. Every year we write to all residential properties on our database, sending out a canvass form and asking all households to confirm or amend the information that we hold so that the register remains accurate and up-to-date.

Your data rights

You have the right to make sure data is correct and up to date subsequent to any changes made.

I don't want to provide data

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. The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an electoral registration officer for inclusion in the full register.

Access to your personal information

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 you have the right to request a copy of the personal information we hold about you.

Your right to complain

You can complain to the council or the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) with any queries concerning the process and retention of your data. For more information please go to the Information Commissioner.

Name of data controller

Electoral Registration Officer
Plymouth City Council
Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth, PL1 3BJ

Contact for data protection officer

Data Protection Officer
Plymouth City Council
Phone: 01752 668000