Privacy: Protecting the Personal Information of the Voter.
Information for electors.
Permanent List of Electors
The Permanent List of Electors, commonly referred to as the Voters List, is a database containing the personal information of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who are qualified to vote. It contains the name, address, sex and date of birth of each elector, as well as a unique identifier assigned to each elector to help track changes in his or her personal information. Elections Newfoundland and Labrador uses the information to create voters lists for electoral events. Electors may choose whether or not to have their names listed in the Permanent List of Electors.
The Permanent List of Electors is used to produce the preliminary lists of electors for provincial general elections, by-elections and plebiscites (or referendums). These lists are shared with election officers for electoral purposes. They are also shared with federal and municipal electoral agencies that have signed data-sharing agreements with Elections Newfoundland and Labrador, for uses permitted under their respective legislation. These data-sharing agreements must include conditions regarding the use and protection of personal information.
In accordance with the Elections Act, 1991, electoral lists (name and address only) are shared with members of the House of Assembly, political parties and candidates. Elections Newfoundland and Labrador has established safeguards for the protection of the personal information contained in these lists. The safeguards are discussed in more detail below (see Safeguarding Your Personal Information).
Benefits of the Permanent List of Electors
With the Permanent List of Electors, being registered to vote is simpler and easier for all electors. Sharing voters lists with federal and municipal electoral agencies reduces duplication, results in higher quality lists of electors and creates savings for taxpayers.
Maintaining the Permanent List of Electors
The Permanent List of Electors is updated with information (name, address, sex and date of birth) supplied by federal and municipal data sources between electoral events, and by electors themselves during provincial electoral events.
Elections Newfoundland and Labrador currently has two-way data-sharing agreements with Elections Canada and municipal governments.
Inclusion in the Permanent List of Electors
Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian who is qualified to vote may choose whether or not to be included in the Permanent List of Electors. While inclusion has certain benefits, such as being registered to vote and receiving a voter information letter during an electoral event that indicates where to vote, exclusion from the List does not affect the right to vote.
If an elector chooses not to be included on the List, his or her right to vote is protected. However, at the time of a provincial general election, by-election or plebescite, the elector will need to add his or her name to the voters list by registering at the local Elections Newfoundland and Labrador office during the revision period, at an advance poll or at an ordinary poll on election day.
If your name is currently listed on the List and you wish to change your status, you can write to Elections Newfoundland and Labrador requesting either that your personal information be removed from the List or that your information not be shared with Elections Canada and municipalities that use it to produce their voters lists.
Safeguarding Your Personal Information
Elections Newfoundland and Labrador takes precautions to ensure that the information contained in the Permanent List of Electors is not misused. Access to the database by employees is carefully controlled, and the database itself is physically secured and isolated from the Internet.
The lists of electors that Elections Newfoundland and Labrador distributes to members of the House of Assembly, political parties and candidates are accompanied by a document of recommended safeguards. That document, Privacy: Protecting the Personal Information of the Voter, enumerates best practices that these political entities may adopt to help protect the personal information contained on the voters lists.
The personal information provided to Elections Newfoundland and Labrador is protected by the Elections Act, 1991 and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 while under Elections Newfoundland and Labrador's control. In accordance with the Elections Act, 1991, personal information (name and address only) from the List is disclosed to members of the House of Assembly, political parties and candidates. Furthermore, the Elections Act, 1991 expressly states that the List "shall not be used for any purpose other than that for which it was prepared or other electoral use prescribed by law." The Elections Act, 1991 also allows for information contained in the List to be shared with provincial or municipal electoral agencies.
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