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Electoral Services – How we use your personal information

    Information for the public

    Everyone working for Stafford Borough Council has a legal duty to keep and process information about you in accordance with the law.

    This leaflet explains why we ask for your personal information, how that information will be used and how you can access your records.

    Why is information recorded about me?

    We use information about citizens, electors and voters to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are responsible and to provide you with a statutory service.

    We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents, staff employed at an election and the people we need to pay.  These may be written down (manual records), or kept on a computer (electronic records).

    These records may include:

    • Basic details about you, for example, name, address, date of birth and nationality.
    • Unique identifiers (such as your NI number).
    • Scanned application forms and dates of any letters of correspondence.
    • Notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us.
    • Details and records about the service you have received.
    • Your previous or any redirected address.
    • The other occupants in your home.
    • If you are over 76 or under 16/17.
    • Whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register.

    We are able to do this because legislation says we must do it and the processing is necessary for compliance with legal obligations.  There are very many different regulations covering the administration of Electoral Registration and Elections.

    The main rules are contained in:

    • The Representation of the People Act 1983, 1985 and 2000.
    • The Representation of the People Regulations 2001.
    • Political Parties, Elections and Referendum Act 2000.
    • Local Government Act 2000.
    • Electoral Administration Act 2006.
    • Political Parties and Elections Act 2009.
    • Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013.

    Including all regulations made there under.  This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

    What is the information used for?

    Your records are used to help ensure that we provide you with the service that you need.  We will, based on your nationality, include your name on the Electoral Register so that you are able to vote by your chosen method.

    The Electoral Register is a public document which can be viewed by appointment only under supervision.

    It is important that your records are accurate and up-to-date as they will help make sure that our staff are able to provide you with the help, advice or support you need.

    If you do not provide us with this information then eligible citizens will not be able to vote and you will be breaking the law.

    How long for?

    In order to provide you with this service, we rely on our legal obligation.  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.

    Occasions when your information needs to be disclosed (shared) include:

    • To contracted printers to print your poll cards, postal packs and other electoral material.
    • To registered political parties, elected representatives, candidates, agents and other permitted participants who are able to use it for Electoral Purposes only.
    • Credit reference agencies, the British Library, UK Statistics Authority, the Electoral Commission and other statutory recipients of the Electoral Register.
    • Details of whether you have voted (but not how you have voted) to those who are entitled in law to receive it after an election.
    • Where the health and safety of others is at risk.
    • When the law requires us to pass on information under special circumstances.
    • Crime prevention or the detection of fraud as part of the National Fraud Initiative.

    Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential

    We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities – for example:

    • Where a formal court order has been issued.
    • To law enforcement agencies for the prevention or detection of a crime.
    • To the Jury Central Summoning Bureau indicating those persons who are aged 76 or over and are no longer eligible for jury service.

    Partner organisations

    The process of checking citizens’ unique identifiers to ensure eligibility for inclusion in the Electoral Register, is controlled by the Cabinet Office via the IER Digital Service (IERDS).

    This includes:

    • The Department for Work and Pensions who use data provided to verify the identity of new applicants.
    • The IERDS will inform the old local authority of people who have moved area.
    • Information will be processed within the European Economic Area (EEA) and will not be shared with overseas recipients.
    • If your details are in the Open version of the Electoral Register, your name and address can be sold to third parties who may use it for any purpose
    • 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 about this on the Register to Vote website.

    You can opt out of this version at any time and are given the opportunity annually as part of the Canvass of all households.

    Can I see my records?

    Data protection legislation allows you to find out what information is held about you, on paper and computer records.  This is known as ‘right of subject access’ and applies to your Electoral Services records along with all other personal records.

    If you wish to see a copy of your records you should contact the Data Protection officer.  You are entitled to receive a copy of your records free of charge, within a month.

    In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited, for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.

    Do I have other rights?

    A full list of the rights you may have, under data protection law, is given in the 'Your Rights' section of this webpage.

    Further information

    For specific enquiries regarding personal data which we process you can contact the Data Protection Officer on e-mail dpo@staffordbc.gov.uk or at Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford ST16 3AQ.

    If you wish to complain about how your personal information has been handled by Stafford Borough Council then please contact the Information Manager in the first instance using the details above.  If you are not satisfied you can submit a formal complaint to the Council.

    Finally you can  complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or you can visit their website at ico.org.uk.

    You can also find details of how we handle your personal information by visiting www.staffordbc.gov.uk/privacynotices.

    For any general enquiries you can contact the council by phone on 01785 619000 via email customerservices@stafford.gov.uk or by writing to us at Stafford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Riverside, Stafford ST16 3AQ.

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