The Annual Canvass

The Annual Canvass 2017/18

Every autumn, by law, the Electoral Registration Officer must prepare a revised register of electors. This register forms the basis for voting at all elections and referenda held within the year the register remains in force.

  • Every household in the borough was sent a household enquiry form at the beginning of August. You are legally obliged to respond to the form and could face a fine if you do not do so.
     
  • Between August and November should we not receive a completed form from you a canvasser will call at your address to collect the form. The sooner you respond to the Household Enquiry form the less likely you are to have reminder forms sent to your address and a personal canvasser visiting your property.
     
  • The revised register is published on 1 December with no monthly updates in October and November.


Find out more information on how to Register to Vote.


Why do I receive a Household Enquiry Form each year? The Electoral Registration Officer is legally obliged to maintain an accurate Electoral Register and the annual canvass allows for the correction of any omissions or errors that may have occurred throughout the rest of the year.

Why should I respond to the form? You are legally obliged to respond accurately to the form and could face a fine if you do not do so. If no response is received from a household for two consecutive years the Electoral Registration Officer is legally entitled to remove any existing entries from the register. If you are not on the electoral register you will not be permitted to vote at any election. As credit reference agencies use the electoral register for identity verification purposes you could face difficulties when applying for credit if you are not registered.

Why is the form not addressed to me personally? Household Enquiry forms are specific to an address, not an individual. We need to ensure that the form is delivered even if there are no current electors registered or the details held are incorrect.

What do I do if the form is correct? We still need you to respond so that we can be certain the register is accurate. If the information is correct you can respond using the internet, freephone or SMS text services. There is no need to return the form in the post if you use these services, please destroy the form after using them.

Why is the internet/freephone/SMS text not available for my property? If there are a large number of electors registered at a given property it is regarded as multiple-occupancy and treated differently to the majority of properties in the borough. To avoid confussion because of the additional sheets provided and to avoid incorrect information being returned to the electoral services office these properties are restricted to a postal only response.

How do I correct any of the pre-printed details? Simply go to our online form and make the necessary changes. If returning the paper form, cross through anything that needs amending and write the correct information next to it. Please remember to sign the form before sending it back to us.

What do I do if I’m not included on the form? Simply go to our online form and make the necessary changes. If returning the paper form, write your name and the name of anyone else who is also not registered along one of the blank lines, indicate your nationality, whether you are aged 76 years old or over, whether you wish to opt out of appearing on the open register. If you are 16 or 17 years of age give your date of birth. Then sign the form and return it in the pre-paid envelope.

How do I remove someone who no longer lives at my address? Simply go to our online form and make the necessary changes. If returning the paper form, cross through their names and sign the form before returning it. Remember to add your own details if not already included.

What is the open register? The open register is a version of the electoral register that can be bought by individuals or companies. You can opt out of appearing on this version of the register by ticking the box on the Household Enquiry form. You will still appear on the register used for elections and credit verification

Why is there a box relating to jury service exemption for those over 76? The court service use the electoral register to determine members of the public eligible for jury service. Each year the council supplies them with a register that excludes electors who are ineligible because of their ages. Please note we do not deal with exemption from jury service. Find out more information.

What should I do if a member of my household is working away from home for an extended period or is studying at university? To ensure that they are not inadvertently disenfranchised please check with the person that they have registered, or will be registering at a different location before removing them. It is not an offence to be registered at two different locations so if the move away is known to be temporary their existing registration can be left in place. Please note: it is an offence to vote twice in the same election.

I am not sure whether I am eligible to be registered because of my nationality? All British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens are entitled to be registered, if you are not sure if this includes you please see our list of eligible nationalities.

What is the deadline for responding to the Household Enquiry form? The last day for response is 30 November 2017, prior to publication of the register on 1 December 2017. Responses received after this date may not be included until January 2018. However, the sooner you respond to the Household Enquiry form the less likely you are to have reminder forms sent to your address and it will avoid you having personal canvassers come and visit your property.