Edited Electoral Register

There is little public awareness of the ability to permanently opt out of the Edited Electoral Register under Section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998. Electoral Registration Officers (ERO) are under no legal obligation to advertise the fact that voters have this right. Moreover, the option, or even information about the option, is not included on the voter registration form prescribed by legislation. The result of this is that very few voters are aware of their legal right to permanently opt out of the EER and so very few do so.

The electoral register is the list of everyone who is registered to vote in a local area. There are two versions of the register – the full version, and the edited version. Individuals’ details will appear on the full version of the register, but you can choose to have your details excluded from the edited version when registering. The full register is used for elections, preventing and detecting crime, and checking applications for credit. The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing.

The edited version of the register has only been in existence since 2002 when new regulations were introduced to establish a new framework governing access to the electoral register and the supply and sale of the register. electoral register could be made available for a variety of purposes and any organisation or person could buy a copy.

The edited version of the electoral register can be sold to anyone. Electors can opt out of having their details included in this version by ticking an ‘opt-out’ box on the electoral registration form; however, this is opt out is not permanent and has to be renewed by voters each year.

There are no restrictions on the sale of the edited version of the register; it can be made available to any person for any purpose.

There is little public awareness of the ability to permanently opt out of the EER under Section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998. Electoral Registration Officers (ERO) are under no legal obligation to advertise the fact that voters have this right. Moreover, the option, or even information about the option, is not included on the voter registration form prescribed by legislation. The result of this is that very few voters are aware of their legal right to permanently opt out of the EER and so very few do so.

If you wish to opt out here is a template allowing you to do so. You need to send it to

alistair.stewart@shepway.gov.uk & peter.savage@shepway.gov.uk

Example of a letter requesting to be permanently opted out of the edited register under Section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Notice under Section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998 not to use my personal information for direct marketing / share my personal details with third parties.

I, [ full name ] of [ full address ] require that you as Electoral Registration Officer for [ council area ] cease or do not begin processing for the purpose of direct marketing personal data which I supply to you in respect of the Register of Electors with effect from the date of this request. In doing so and until I notify you in writing to the contrary, I particularly request that my name be withheld from the current and future versions of the Edited Register of Electors and that this choice be specifically marked on any annual registration forms sent to me in the future.

Shepwayvox

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