Annual Canvass 2019


Look out for your Annual Canvass form - if you do not respond you may be removed from the electoral register and fined. (Opens in a new window)

Every household will be sent a letter, called a Household Enquiry Form, at the beginning of July asking someone living at the address to confirm that the details on the form are still correct, or to provide up to date information about anyone eligible to vote living at the property. This is known as the Annual Canvass and is a check that we are required to carry out each year to ensure that the electoral register is accurate and up to date. It is a legal requirement that households respond to this form, even if the information on it is still correct.

In order to remain registered and avoid a fine you must respond to the annual canvass every year.

If you inform us that new electors are living at the property we will send each person a letter (Invitation to Register) asking them to register them to vote, although they can also do this online at GOV.UK/Register to Vote

If we do not receive a response to the letter we send in July, additional reminder letters will be sent; to avoid a reminder being issued please respond by 29 July 2019. If no answer has been received by October someone from the Council will visit the property in person. Council staff will always carry identification -  please ask to see their identification details before speaking to them.

Household Response

How do I respond?

To confirm existing details:
Text:                                      NO CHANGE followed by both parts of your security code (see form) to 80212
Call:                                       0800 197 9871


If the details need to be changed:  
If the details need to be changed:


By post (responding by phone, online or text helps to save the Council money)

If you are unable to respond via the above methods, you can complete and post back the form in the freepost envelope which will have been included with the form sent to you.


What information do I need to provide?

If your details are correct you simply need to confirm this via the above methods. If you need to add or remove electors, or make changes, you can do this via

Why do I need to respond to the canvass?

It is a legal requirement to provide accurate information for the electoral register, if you do not respond to the annual canvass you may be removed from the electoral register and unable to vote in elections. You may also have difficulty in obtaining credit because credit reference agencies are legally entitled to use information on the electoral register to carry out their own checks, which could impact on applications for mortgages, credit cards, mobile phones, etc.

If you consider that you may be at risk of harm because your name is shown on the electoral register there may be other registration options. Information is available via Please contact Democratic & Electoral Services if you wish to register in this way.

I received a form last year, why do I need to complete another form?

We are required to carry out an annual canvass by law each year to ensure that the register of electors remains accurate and up to date.

Who is eligible to vote?

Anyone who is:

  • Aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
  • A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
  • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.

I live in two locations, where do I register?

You can register to vote in more than one location provided that you usually reside at the property e.g. you are a student with a home and term time address. You can only vote once in any election.

I am not registered to vote. How long will it take to appear on the electoral register after making a valid application?

From January to September updates to the electoral register are available to entitled parties (e.g. Credit reference agencies) via a notice of alteration published each month. The registration deadlines are available to view via: Register to Vote. During October, November and December monthly updates do not occur because the annual canvass is being carried out ahead of the publication of the revised electoral register on 1 December. If you apply to register to vote after the deadline to be included on the September notice of alteration your details will not be updated with entitled parties until 1 December. If you are applying for credit during the annual canvass and your electoral register status is not being reflected on your credit report, lenders can still check other information such as where your credit accounts are held. Lenders are aware of the annual canvass and therefore will take other information into consideration when assessing a credit application. If you require written confirmation of your registration to vote please contact us.  

I am showing on the form as being included on the open register, what does this mean?

There are two versions of the electoral register: the full register and the open register. The full register is used for electoral purposes and also for other limited purposes such as detecting crime, calling people up for jury service and checking credit applications. 

The open register contains the same information as the full register but is not used for elections or referendums. However, the open register can be sold to any person, organisation or company for a wide range of purposes, including businesses and charities checking name and address details, direct marketing (junk mail) and online directory firms. You can choose whether or not to have your personal details included in the open version of the register; however they will be included unless you ask for them to be removed.

More information is available on the open register webpage.

How can I opt out of the open register?

The easiest way to opt out of the open register is by filling in the online form via the link below.

Opt out of the open register

Please note that if you are responding to the Household Enquiry form via the online portal at you will not be able to change the opt out status of other people in your household.

Under the Individual Electoral Registration (IER) legislation, each individual is responsible for their own electoral registration. This means that each elector may only change their own opt out status; a request cannot be made on behalf of another person.

If there are other people in your household who wish to change their opt out status, they can do this individually via the link above. 

Contact your local electoral office

If you have any queries regarding the annual canvass you may also contact us by email at or by telephone on 01494 732014.