Exemptions from answering FOI requests relating to postal votes

Jamie made this Freedom of Information request to Electoral Commission Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was successful.

Dear Electoral Commission,

I have recently requested confirmation of the number of postal votes received and the number rejected.

Does either question qualify for a FOI exemption?

Yours faithfully,


FOI, Electoral Commission

Dear Jamie,


Thank you for your email dated 5 June 2023, in which you asked whether the
following falls under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):


I have recently requested confirmation of the number of postal votes
received and the number rejected.


This request could be considered under the FOIA, but before we log your
request and respond, we would need to know which elections you are
referring to. Data for the May 2023 elections is currently being collected
and a report will be published on our website in September.


Data on past elections are already published on our website and be found


Yours sincerely



Information Officer

[2][Electoral Commission request email]


The Electoral Commission




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Dear FOI,

My district council has local elections each year, I know they tally of the postal votes separate from the votes cast on polling day, so I asked to see their records. However, my request was rejected .

Does the Electoral Commission have any guidance and whether there is a basis they may reject the request.

Yours sincerely,


Dear FOI,

Thank you for the link to the 2022 election data, I will be able to use this information. However, I would like to drill down slightly further to ward level.

Yours sincerely,


Gulderen Harwood, Electoral Commission

Good afternoon, Jamie.


Returning Officer (at Local Council) is obligated to inform the electors,
but beyond that, it is for the RO (Local Council) to decide whether to
make this information available.


Returning Officers may receive requests under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 such as yours, Ros (Returning Officers) and EROs (Electoral
Registration Officers) are not a public authority under this Act and, as
such, are exempt from the disclosure requirements imposed by it. Here is
the link to our guidance: [1]FOI requests | Electoral Commission


As my colleague mentioned in their email, we collate and analyse this
data, and the full report is due to be published in September on our


I hope this is helpful to you.



Kind regards


Gülderen Harwood

Regional Liaison Officer (Midlands)


The Electoral Commission
020 7271 0627

0333 103 1928 advice and guidance


[3][email address]






From: Public Info <[email address]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 2:42 PM
To: infoengland <[email address]>
Subject: FW: Request for information


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Mark Nyack, Electoral Commission


Dear Jamie,


Thank you for your further email to the Electoral Commission.


You can access a spreadsheet of electoral data for the May 22 local
elections on our [1]website. You can find ward data relating to postal
votes on tab 8 of the spreadsheet.


Please let me know if you require further information.


Kind regards


Mark Nyack

Public Information


The Electoral Commission



You now need photo ID to vote at a polling station at some elections. No
ID? You can apply for free voter ID.


Find out more at [3]electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID​.



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