6. Electoral Registration & Annual Canvass
From each July our electoral services section will begin the process of the annual canvass. The Cabinet Office have made some changes to the annual canvass this year so the communications you receive from us will look different to previous years.
The process for completing the canvass is in three stages:
Stage 1: Data Matching
The electoral register is sent securely to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to be matched with their records. The results of this will determine which route your property is sent down:
Route 1 - If all the people registered to vote at the property can be matched.
Route 2 - If there are people at the property that cannot be matched.
Stage 2: Communications & Updating the Electoral Register
If the property matched DWP records during the data matching stage then a Canvass Communication A will be sent out late July.
You must respond to the 'Canvass Communication A' if any of the printed details for your property are incorrect. The easiest way to do this is by using the Household Response website. It takes just a few minutes. You will need to enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code when prompted. Your security code will be printed on your Canvass Communication A. You can post the form back to us if you are unable to access the internet.
You do not need to respond if all the details for your property are correct.
If there are people at the property that did not match DWP records during the data matching stage then a Canvass Form will be sent to the property with the names of the people registered printed on the form. A blank Canvass form will be sent if the property is empty.
You must respond to this form even if there are no changes.
The easiest way to do this is by using the Household Response website. It takes just a few minutes. You will need to enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code when prompted. Your security code will be printed on your Canvass Form.
You can also report that there are no changes by phone or text and entering your security code when prompted.
- Phone: 0800 197 9871
- Text: NOCHANGE to 80212 (standard charges)
You can also respond by posting the form back to us using the enclosed reply envelope.
Canvass Forms will be sent out at the end of July.
Please respond by the date printed on the form to avoid being sent a reminder.
The information provided will enable us to confirm who is still living at the property. It also enables us to send a separate individual registration form to those people who need to register. If you are a new resident the Canvass Form does not register you to vote, it just confirms who lives at your address. You or anyone in your household can register to vote online if you need to.. Please note you will still need to send back the Canvass Form, otherwise you will be sent a reminder.
It is a legal requirement to return the Canvass Form. Outstanding households will receive a personal visit or telephone call from a canvasser to ensure this information is collected. Please help to keep costs to a minimum by returning the form promptly.
Stage 3: Invitations to Register (ITR)
If a returned 'Canvass Communication A' or Canvass Form indicates any new residents who need to register, they will each be sent an ITR for completion. This form requests personal information in order to confirm a persons identity before they can be added to the electoral register. You can help us save money by registering to vote online as soon as possible. Anyone who does not respond to an ITR form will be sent a reminder. It is a legal requirement to return an ITR and those persons who have not registered will also receive a visit from a canvasser to ensure the information is collected.
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).
The electoral register
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:
detecting crime (eg fraud)
calling people for jury service
checking credit applications.
The open register
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organization. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used at Register to Vote or by contacting us.
We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the General Data Protection Regulation. We will not give personal information about you and other people in your household to anyone else or another organization unless we have to by law. Please see our privacy notice.