WHETHER somebody voted at certain address in a general election is a matter of accessible public record – obviously not how they voted, just whether they they used their vote or not. Political parties use this information all the time to target future mail drops. So, the Tories complaining about violinist Nigel Kennedy’s Guardian interview comment that he allowed a friend to use his wife’s voting card to vote for Glenda Jackson asked Camden’s electoral office to see the Hampstead and Kilburn paperwork yesterday.
No can do, the reply came back, the information has been destroyed.
This isn’t a case of the Town Hall bungling and shredding data they should have been protecting at all costs. The opposite. They were required to bin it. Camden confirmed today: “The council is required under the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities)(England and Wales) Rules 2006 to retain all documents relating to an election for one year, unless otherwise directed by an order of a county, Crown Court, a magistrates’ court or an election court, after which they must be completely destroyed. Therefore in accordance with that legislation we have destroyed the information.”