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Electoral Services supports the statutory functions of:
We process information to support the statutory functions and responsibilities of the Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer. This includes the compilation of the electoral register and the administration of elections and referendums. There is a legal requirement for collecting these categories of data including the following electoral legislation:
We keep records about voters (including potential voters), election candidates and agents and staff employed at elections and referendums or voter registration canvassing activities.
We may collect and process the following information:
We may use third party suppliers to collect information required in order to compile the electoral register. The current service provider is Electoral Reform Services Ltd and their privacy notice can be viewed here.
In accordance with Section 35 of the Representation of the People Regulations 2001, the Electoral Registration Officer is entitled to inspect other records held by Portsmouth City Council for the purposes of maintaining the electoral register. This includes Council Tax records.
The Electoral Registration Officer uses your information to:
The Returning Officer uses your information to:
We will take appropriate steps to make sure that the personal information we hold (on paper and electronically) is kept securely and only used by people who have a right to see it. The Council’s security measures include encrypting personal data and equipment, system access controls and training in data protection for all staff.
Where another company or organisation processes personal information on our behalf, they will only process your personal information in line with our instructions and are obliged to provide security assurances to the Council and to certain regulatory bodies.
Your information will be held and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and statutory retention periods.
Documentation relating to a particular election, for example, ballot papers, polling station documents and postal voting records, are held for one year. Candidate election expenses returns are held for two years.
In some cases, information may be retained if required as evidence for a police investigation or court case.
To verify your identity when you register to vote, 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
Information from the electoral register may also be shared for certain purposes including:
The electoral register is available for public inspection under supervision in Portsmouth Central Library.
Certain election documents may be supplied or inspected in accordance with Sections 117 and 118 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2006 respectively.
The open version of the electoral register is available for general sale. Further information on the two versions of the electoral register can be viewed here.
The Returning Officer may use the GOV.UK Notify service to contact election candidates, agents or staff in connection with an election.
Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’. If we do hold information about you we will:
To make a request to the City Council for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing addressing it to:
Data Protection Officer
Portsmouth City Council
A request form is available to print and complete: Data subject access – request form
Please bring your completed request form to ground floor reception at the Civic Offices, along with:
The following may also be helpful:
If you cannot come to the Civic Offices, have difficulty making a written request, or don’t have any form of identification please use the contact details below to discuss your request with us.
If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by, once again, contacting the Data Protection Officer.
Please be aware that we would not let you see any parts of your record which contain:
We take any complaints we receive very seriously. Please bring it to our attention if you think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.
You should let us know if you disagree with something written in your record. We may not always be able to change or remove the information. However, we will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the record.
We are happy to provide any additional information or explanation about how the City Council collects and uses personal information.
Any complaints, queries or requests should be sent to the Council’s Data Protection Officer.
Telephone: 023 9282 2251
For independent advice about data protection, privacy and sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (if you prefer to use a national rate number).
This privacy notice was last updated on 21 January 2019.
You can contact Electoral Services:
Tel: 023 9283 4074