The electoral register and the 'open register'

How we use your data

The Electoral Registration Officer is a data controller and collects the personal data you provide for the purpose of registering your right to vote. You need to be registered to be able to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible. We have a duty to maintain a complete and accurate register throughout the year. We will only collect the personal data we need from you to do this.

We are legally obliged to follow the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 and Representation of the People Regulations 2001. This legislation ensures you are registered to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible. The law makes it compulsory to provide information to an Electoral Registration Officer for inclusion in the full register.

We keep records about potential and actual electors, voters, citizens, candidates and their agents and staff employed at elections. These may be written down, or kept on a computer.

What is on the records

These records may include:

  • your name, address, nationality and date of birth
  • unique identifiers (such as National Insurance number)
  • signatures for absent vote checking
  • scanned application forms, documentary evidence, dates of any letters of correspondence
  • notes about any relevant circumstances that you have told us
  • your previous or any redirected address
  • the other occupants in your home
  • if you are over 76 or aged 16 or 17
  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register.

This information must be supplied to maintain the electoral register and for the purpose of administering an election.

The registers

The information you provide is held in electoral registers which are managed by Electoral Registration Officers who, using information received, keep two registers - the full electoral register and the open (edited) register.

The full register is published once a year and is updated every month and can only be supplied to the following people and organisations:

  • British Library
  • UK Statistics Authority
  • Electoral Commission
  • Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Summoning Bureau
  • Elected representatives (MP, MEPs, local councillors)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Candidates standing for elections
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
  • Parish and community councils
  • Police forces, National Crime Agency
  • Public Library or local authority archive services
  • Government departments or bodies
  • Credit reference agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Electoral registration and returning officers.

We also have to share your information with our software providers and contracted printers.

It is a crime for anyone who has a copy of the full register to pass information from this register on to others, if they do not have a lawful reason to see it.

Who can inspect the full register?

Anyone can inspect the full electoral register. Inspection of the register will be under supervision - they can take extracts from the register, but only by hand written notes. Information taken must not be used for direct marketing purposes, in accordance with data protection legislation, unless it has been published in the open version. Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence and will be charged a penalty of up to £5,000.

What is the open register?

The open register contains the same information as the full register, but is not used for elections or referendums. It is updated and published every month and can be sold to any person, organisation or company for a wide range of purposes. It is used by businesses and charities for checking names and address details; users of the register include direct marketing firms and also online directory firms.

You can choose whether to have your personal details included in the open register or not. However, they will be automatically included unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register will not affect your right to vote or obtain credit.


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.

How is the data stored?

The information is stored on the electoral management system, supplied by Civica Xpress. This information will not be used to make automated decisions about you.

This data will not be transferred abroad.

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.

The individual electoral registration digital service

Find out more about the individual electoral registration digital service.

How do I get a copy of the information held?

You are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. Any such requests must be made in writing.

Inaccurate information

If the information we hold about you is inaccurate you have a right to have this corrected and you have the right to request completion of incomplete data.

You have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal data, in certain circumstances. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to comply with a legal requirement.


If you are dissatisfied with how the council has used your personal information you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office: 

Contact us

Information rights

If you wish to contact us in relation to any of your information rights, contact the Data Protection Officer:

  • Postal address: Data Protection Officer, Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Castle House, Barracks Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs., ST5 1BL

Alternatively, see the subject access requests page where you can download the subject access application form.

Complaints about how your personal information has been handled by us

If you wish to complain about how your personal information has been handled by us, contact the Data Protection Officer in the first instance using the details above.

Information Commissioner's Office

If you are not satisfied you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

  • Postal address: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

See further information onInformation Commissioner’s Office website.