Legal basis for processing data

Electoral Registration Officers (ERO) have an obligation to share electoral registers (the registers) with a number of organisations including the Electoral Commission. Our legal basis for processing this data is that it is part of our public task as set out under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

This legislation requires that we check the permissibility of donations and loans given to political parties, non-party campaigners and candidates. Part of the criteria for permissibility of the donation or loan is that the donor is registered to vote in the UK.

What we collect and why

EROs based in each local authority maintain the registers. To ensure safe transmission of this data between EROs and the Electoral Commission, we recommend the use of our secure cloud based file transfer platform. This platform is secured with two factor authentication and its data is stored in UK based data centres.

Once the registers arrive at the Electoral Commission, we load them into a secure electronic filing system which is only accessible by staff whose responsibilities include checking the permissibility of donations and loans.


This information is kept for a minimum of five years. This period of time was determined based on the planned cycle of elections in the UK.


We do not routinely share the registers with third parties. We may be asked to share specific information from the registers with other bodies such as the police or other regulators. We will consider any requests on an individual basis, taking into account the rights of the data subject against any restrictions.

Your rights

We will not be able to grant rights of erasure, rectification or objection to data from the registers as we are not the owners of the data. You must ask the relevant ERO any questions about accuracy. Similarly we cannot meet any request to stop processing the data held in the registers if it concerns our statutory duty relating to permissibility checking.

Last updated: 18 June 2019
Next review: 17 June 2020