Returning Officer - Privacy notice

Data Controller -  Sarah Martin, Returning Officer, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent DA1 1DR (

Data Protection Officer - Head of Legal Services, Dartford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent DA1 1DR: Email: I liaise with her over good practice in relation to data protection. If you have any concerns or questions about how I look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer.

Processing activity - I have a statutory duty to process personal information for the purpose of administering an election. Where I intend to process your personal information for a purpose other than that for which the personal information was collected, I will provide you with information on that other purpose before doing so. In general terms, I process personal information relating to:

  • publishing the notice of election
  • administering the nomination process
  • printing the ballot papers
  • publishing the notice of poll, statement of persons nominated, notice of situation of polling stations and notice of election agents
  • the provision of polling stations
  • appointing Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks
  • managing the postal voting process
  • verifying and counting the votes
  • declaring the result

I am also the:

  • (Acting) Returning Officer) for UK Parliamentary elections;

  • Counting Officer for Referendums;

  • Local Returning Officer for the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner’s election, responsible for running this election at a local level;

  • Police Area Returning Officer for the Kent Police and Crime Commissioners’ elections throughout Kent

Information requirements - to be able to stand as a candidate at an election, you are required by law to provide me with personal information. In general terms, I process personal information relating to:

  • candidate full name(s)
  • candidate commonly used name(s)
  • candidate date of birth
  • candidate full home address
  • candidate election expenses declaration
  • candidate election expenditure return
  • candidate signature
  • declaration as to candidate qualification(s)
  • party name/emblem
  • subscribe name(s) (i.e. those endorsing candidates), signature(s) and elector number(s)
  • witness personal information including signature
  • candidate consent to nomination
  • certificate of authorisation (party candidates)
  • name, address, office address and signature of appointed election agent
  • counting agents and polling agents details
  • agent election expenses declaration
  • proposers/seconders
  • statement of person(s) nominated for each ward
  • notice of poll
  • production and issue of poll cards
  • waivers
  • election notice(s)
  • absent voter application forms
  • postal voting statement
  • postal vote rejection notices
  • receipts for election spending
  • press or public enquiries – name and contact information

Lawful bases1- my lawful bases for processing your personal information are:

  • UK GDPR Article 6(1)(c ) - to comply with my legal obligation(s) under the:
  • Local Government Act 1972 - section 80 – disqualification provisions
  • Representation of the People Acts 1983, 1985 and 2000
  • Local Government and Housing Act 1989 – Part 1 – politically restricted posts
  • Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001
  • Representation of the People (Combination of Polls) (England and Wales) Regulations 2004
  • Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Rules 2006
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006
  • Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006
  • Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 2007
  • Political Parties and Elections Act 2009
  • Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009
  • Localism Act 2011 - section 34 – disqualification provisions
  • Neighbourhood Planning (Referendums) Regulations 2012
  • Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Functions of Returning Officers) Regulations 2012
  • Local Authorities (Conduct of Referendums) (England) Regulations 2012
  • Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013
  • Local Government Disqualification Act 2022
  • UK GDPR Article 6(1)(e) and section 8(c) of the DPA 2018 - for the performance of a public interest task which has a clear basis in law (see above) or in the exercise of official authority vested in me as Data Controller i.e. administering the election in the public interest, as provided for in electoral law.
  • UK GDPR Article 9(2)(f) will be relied upon where the processing of special category data is necessary for the establishment, exercise, or defence of legal claims or whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.
  • UK GDPR Article 9(2)(g) and DPA 2018, section 10((1)(b) and Schedule 1 Part 2, section 6 (statutory and government purposes condition) - processing of special category data i.e. candidate’s political affiliation - when processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.  Political affiliation data is required from you to enable us to publish the party (if any) a candidate is standing for, as required by the Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations.
  • UK GDPR Article 9(2)(j) and section 10(1)(e) DPA 2018 will be relied upon when processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes such as the publication of election results on our website, which contain information relating to political opinions.

 I have a Data Protection Policy that sets out how this information will be handled.

I may rely on a number of exemptions, which allow me to share information without needing to comply with all the rights and obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018. Please refer to the Kent and Medway Information Agreement for further details on our sharing arrangements.

Data Sharing -I routinely publish the following information online:

  • names of candidates
  • election agents
  • subscribers

Where I conduct an election on behalf of for example Kent County Council, for the purposes of confirming the accuracy of information received, additional information may be shared with me by the County Council.

I will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law or in connection with legal proceedings.

I will share personal information with legal and professional advisers in the event of a dispute, complaint, or claim.

Retention period - I keep your personal information for the minimum period necessary. The information outlined in this Privacy Notice will be kept in accordance with the retention period referred to in my Information Asset Register unless exceptional circumstances require longer retention eg: pending legal action. All information will be held securely and disposed of confidentially.

Your rights -please refer to Corporate Privacy Notice for further information on your rights.

Changes to this Privacy Notice - this Privacy Notice will be regularly reviewed and updates placed on the website.


1 Note that I may process your personal information on more than one lawful basis depending on the specific purpose for which I am using your information

GDPR Returning Officer Privacy