Guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers administering a UK Parliamentary election in Great Britain

Access, supply and inspection of documents after an election

In England and Wales responsibility for administering the inspection and supply of elections documentation, including the marked registers, rests with the Electoral Registration Officer, not the RO.

In Scotland the responsibility for administering the inspection and supply of marked registers and marked absent voter lists rests with the Returning Officer, not the ERO. Guidance specific to Scotland only can be found in the pages that follow.

The following pages identify:

  • the types of elections documents available for inspection or supply
  • the types of elections documents not open for inspection

We have produced an access and supply checklist, which should be used alongside this guidance.

You should ensure that you have processes in place to retrieve data and securely destroy it at the appropriate time in accordance with electoral law and with your document retention policy, which should include the data protection principles.

Disclosure of personal information

If you receive a request to inspect any documents that contain personal data, for example the postal voting statement, you must also take into consideration whether inspection of the completed statement by that individual, falls within the remit of their basis for lawful processing.

As a data protection safeguarding measure, it may also be proportionate to redact some personal data, for example the date of birth or signature, before providing the inspection of such documents.

Further detailed guidance on data protection legislation is contained in our data protection guidance.

For details on the retention and inspection of candidates' election spending, see our guidance on What you need to do with spending returns.

Last updated: 5 March 2024