Annual Canvass

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Annual Canvass

The 2020 Electoral Register canvass is not suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It is a statutory requirement for the Electoral Registration Officer to undertake an Annual Canvass of all Households every year to check that all residents are registered on the Electoral role. This happens between July and November with a new updated register being produced on 1st December. There have been some changes to the way we are able to undertake Annual Canvass this year, we can now contact people by email and telephone. This is helpful, especially due to the current situation we find ourselves in.

It is a statutory requirement for every household to respond to the emails or forms giving us the details of all adults over the age of 16 that are residing at the address. By law we have to try a minimum of 3 times to get a response, the 3rd time can be in person by one of our Voter Registration Officers. Where possible please respond via one of the online methods and promptly. This will stop further reminders being sent, save council money that could be used for other important services and also during this current situation, reduce the amount of paperwork people are having to handle.

As previously indicated there have been some changes to Annual Canvass this year. To start the process off our current register has been uploaded to the DWP and a data matching exercise undertaken. The results came back with 88% of our Borough matching. The properties are then divided into 3 routes :-

Route 1 – Households that have matched (have to match 100% with DWP)– these Households will receive either

  • an email on Thursday 30 July (if we have an email address for someone in the property), informing residents of the details we hold, which has to be responded to by 16 August whether there are changes or not. If we do not receive a response by that date, a letter will be sent.
  • Or a letter sent on 6 or 19 August (if no email addresses are held or we have not received a response to the email) which informs residents of the details we hold, which only has to be responded to if there are changes.

Route 2Households that have not matched – these households will receive up to 3 communications from us, initially a form sent on 13th August, then either further forms, an email (if we have an email for that property), a telephone call (if we have a telephone number), or as a last resort a house visit from a canvasser with a tablet.

Route 3 – These are properties that are different to normal households, such as care homes, etc. There will be a letter sent initially and then they will be contacted either by telephone or in person.

Please where ever possible respond (if you have to) using one of the online methods detailed, in your email or form.

New electors

If you have added the name of someone who is now living at your address, to the form, they must now complete the registration process. You can do this online at The form must be completed by each new elector individually. A paper copy of the form will be sent automatically to you, if we do not receive an online application. However, it is quicker and easier to apply online. You will need your National Insurance number to hand when you register.

The Open Register

If you wish to opt out of the open register, or into the open register, please complete the form at