Electoral Services – Privacy Notice

What information do we collect from you?

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together as follows:
  • Identity Data includes first name, middle name, last name, title, nationality, date of birth, national insurance number, age if under 16/17 or over 76, photo image of you.
  • Contact Data includes address, previous address, email address and telephone numbers.
  • Application forms when applying for a Voter Authority Certificate, including ID documents submitted with the application.
  • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register
  • The reason you need a signature waiver or proxy vote
  • Any information contained within correspondence with Surrey Heath Borough Council
The information will be used for the administration of the electoral roll and the conduct of elections.
We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through direct interactions. You may give us your Identity and Contact details by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you apply to go onto the register of electors which will enable you to vote at an election.

Purpose for which we will use your personal data


Type of data

Lawful basis for processing
Approval and processing of Voter Authority Certificates (VAC)

Identify data 

Contact data

Application form

Electoral Registration Administration Act 2013

Article 6 1) e) Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.

Who we will share your data with

We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in the table above.
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 Works and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Services. You can find more information by following this link to Register to Vote.
We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative which compares computer records, usually personal information, to locate data differences as these may indicate potentially fraudulent claims and payments. View further information regarding the National Fraud Initiative’s data matching exercise.
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)
To help control local outbreaks of coronavirus infection, to ensure that individuals that have tested positive for COVID 19 are contacted to provide them with advice and to gather intelligence on others with whom they may have been in contact in order to help stop the spread of the virus, your contact information taken from the electoral register may be shared with Surrey County Council and the national Contact Tracing Service commissioned by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).  More information about this sharing of your data can be found on the privacy notice section of the DHSC website.
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, please visit GOV.UK - Opt out of the 'open register'.
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 vote@surreyheath.gov.uk if you want to register anonymously.
For the purposes of processing Voter Authority Certificates (VAC), whereby you do not possess an eligible photo ID document which is now a requirement to vote, you can apply for a VAC.  When you apply your data will be processed by the Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) via a secure national Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) Portal which is a processing tool, and printing and dissemination service for the VAC.  As the Data Controller we will access the ERO portal to approve VAC applications, more information on this process can be found at Voter ID | Electoral Commission.  Paper VAC Applications received directly by the Councils ERO will be uploaded to the ERO Portal including all your data provided on the application, once approved the paper application will be destroyed after 6 months.
We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

Transferring data outside of the EEA

We do not transfer your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

How we handle data security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

How we handle data breaches

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

How long will we retain your information for?

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

All records relating to the creation and publication of the electoral register are kept permanently.

In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data. See how we use your data for more information.

What are my rights with regards to data?

Please see Your Legal Rights section of the main Privacy Notice.