Electoral registration privacy notice

Who is the data controller

The Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer (including Acting, Deputy and Local) for Leeds City Council is the Data Controller. At present this is Tom Riordan, Chief Executive.

Why we are collecting your data

To allow you to vote in elections, and to maintain an accurate and complete Register of Electors. We are required by law to provide an electoral service fulfilling these duties, and in order for us to do this, you must provide us with certain personal data.

The legal basis for processing your personal data is contained within the following legislation:

  • Representation of the People Act 1983
  • Representation of the People Act 1985
  • Representation of the People Act 2000
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006
  • Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Rules 2006
  • Local Elections (Parish and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006
  • Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019
  • Elections Act 2022

What data do we collect from you

We keep records of potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents and staff currently and previously employed by the elections office. These may be paper records, or stored electronically.

These records may include the following personal data and special categories of personal data*:

  • name, address, date of birth and nationality
  • contact details (telephone numbers and email addresses)
  • unique identifiers (such as National Insurance numbers), signatures for absent vote checking
  • scanned application forms, documentary evidence*, copies of correspondence received and sent
  • notes about relevant circumstances that you have told us about
  • your previous or redirected address
  • other occupants in your household
  • if you are over 76 or under 18
  • whether you have opted out of appearing on the open version of the register
  • people engaged for the purposes election/registration work only* – job history and relevant notes about performance

* Some personal data is called 'special category data', which is more sensitive and we have to look after it more carefully. If we ask you for further documentary evidence, e.g. your passport, you may be providing us with some special categories of personal data, e.g. details of your nationality. Applications to register anonymously, and some data obtained when recruiting staff is also categorised as special category data.

Who will your data be shared with

Using data 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 (such as 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 electoral (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 electoral (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 data 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 registerThe Electoral Commission, and the ways in which they can use your data can be found on The Electoral CommissionThe 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
  • data 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 (full) 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. If you want to remove your name and address from the open register please visit The electoral and open register page.

We will also have to disclose (share) your data 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 data 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 ServiceIndividual 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.

How long will we keep your data

We will keep your data only for as long as we are required to keep it by law. Once it is no longer required, it will be disposed of securely and safely.

The data included in the published electoral (full) register will be kept on archive which are available for inspection after a period of 10 years.

What rights do I have about my data

You have the right to request access to data about you that we hold.

You can also ask us to:

  • correct your data if you think it is wrong
  • stop using your data if you think we no longer should be using it
  • stop using your data if you think it is wrong, until it’s put right
  • delete your data

For further details about your rights and how to exercise these, please visit the Your privacy rights page. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process data in order to comply with a legal requirement.

If you are concerned about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, we request that you raise your concern with us in the first instance. You can also contact the Leeds City Council Data Protection Officer or visit the Data protection officer page.

If you are unhappy with how the council has answered your complaint, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s OfficeInformation Commissioner’s Office.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 17 January 2023.

Use this form to give us your comments. Do not use it to give us personal information - please contact us if you need to get in touch.