Returning Officer privacy notice

This privacy notice sits beneath the Council’s top level privacy notice and provides information about how personal data is used by Hackney’s Returning Officer to:

  • administer local elections
  • administer Parliamentary General Elections
  • administer Referenda
  • administer Elections for the Mayor of London and Greater London Assembly

Please see the main privacy notice for details on your rights.



Under the Representation of the People Act 1983 each Local Authority must by law appoint a Returning Officer (RO).

This is a personal appointment separate to Hackney Council with its own statutory functions. A summary of the Returning Officers separate duties includes:

  • the Returning Officer also has a ‘responsibility’ to meet the standards set by the Electoral Commission
  • data held by the Returning Officer is not shared with the Council except where specified below

Returning Officer

The Returning Officer is personally responsible for ensuring that they comply with the requirements of GDPR.

Dawn Carter-McDonald is appointed by Hackney Council as the Returning Officer and is the registered ‘data controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Our core data protection obligations and commitments are set out in our primary privacy notice.

This notice provides additional privacy information as regards electoral services for:

  • persons voting in elections
  • lawful basis for processing personal information

To undertake the statutory obligation to ensure that all eligible persons in Hackney borough are able to exercise their voting franchise.

The legal basis for processing personal information relating to electoral administration is contained in the following legislation:

  • Representation of the People Act 1983
  • Representation of the People Act 1985
  • Representation of the People Act 2000
  • European Parliamentary Elections (franchise of Relevant Citizens of the Union)
  • Regulations 2001
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006

Personal data

Although not an exhaustive list, we hold the following personal information in accordance with relevant laws and retention schedules:

  • registered and pending electors names and addresses
  • registered and pending electors date of birth and nationality
  • national insurance numbers
  • signatures and date of birth of absent voters (postal, proxy, postal proxy voters)
  • household Enquiry Forms (HEF’s) and Invitations to Register (ITR’s)
  • notes about any relevant circumstances given by the applicant
  • previous or any redirected address
  • electors aged over 76 and aged 16/17
  • overseas electors and their qualifying and overseas addresses
  • email addresses/ telephone numbers
  • telephone numbers
  • anonymous electors
  • service voters
  • local connection voters
  • marked copies of polling station registers
  • marked copies of absent voter records
  • candidates / agents records
  • staffing details for those employed to assist in the annual canvass

We’ll retain any documents that contain your personal information for only as long as long as the legislation specifies, following which we securely dispose of it.

We retain ballot papers, corresponding number lists, marked registers and other documents for the length of time specified in the legislation, after which they are securely destroyed.

We delete electronic records of an election after the time specified in the legislation.

Why do we collect this information?

To enable you to be able to vote and to administer the election we need to hold this information.

We receive information primarily from the electoral registration officer in this regard.

As part of the process your data will be shared with our suppliers who, for example, print and mail postal ballot papers.

We ask for email and telephone details as it enables us to contact you easily and quickly should we need to but you don’t have to provide this information.

The electoral register

The full register of electors lists the names and addresses of everyone who has registered to vote as ordinary electors.

It also contains the names of those registered as special category electors, except in the case of those registered anonymously, in which case it includes only an entry, without showing their names or addresses.

The register is used for electoral purposes, making sure only eligible people can vote. It’s also used for other limited purposes specified in law:

  • detecting crime (eg fraud)
  • calling people for jury service
  • checking credit applications

The full register is a public document and in accordance with law, the full electoral register has to be made available for public inspection.

Inspection is done under supervision, and those who inspect the register can make handwritten notes but cannot take copies or photographs of the register.

The open and full versions of the electoral register do not contain your telephone number and / or email address.

The open register

This is an extract of the full register but is not used for elections. Requests to purchase the open register can be made by any person, company or organisation.

Your name and address can be removed from the open register. To opt out from being included in the open register email

Who is lawfully entitled to receive the full electoral register?

We are required by law to provide copies of the full electoral register to certain organisations and individuals.

They may use it for their own purposes which are different to ours but they still have to look after the data contained in the register in the same way that we do.

The following organisations and individuals are only able be supplied copies of the full register of electors:

  • 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
  • local and national political parties
  • the Council
  • parish and community councils
  • police forces, National Crime Agency
  • public library or local authority archive services
  • government departments or bodies
  • licensed credit reference agencies
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • electoral registration and returning officers
  • the local authority who appointed the electoral registration officer

Your rights

Please see the main privacy notice for details on your rights.

For any other rights please email

Who to contact

If you wish to raise a concern about the Returning Officer’s handling of your personal information, please contact You will normally need to include documents that prove your identity as well as a clear and precise description of your request/concern.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can visit Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), or contact:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)

Page updated on: 14 August 2023