Annual Canvass 2020

2020 Canvass and Canvass Reform

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.

The annual canvass ensures that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so. They are then able to take part in any future elections.

The annual canvass will run between July and November. Each household will receive at least one form of communication (email or letter), asking for confirmation of who lives at their address in order to check who is eligible to register to vote. You are legally obliged to respond and could face a fine if you do not do so.

If you are not currently registered, your name will not appear in the communications we send. If you want to register, the easiest way is online on the GOV.UK website.

With the Greater London Authority and London Mayor elections taking place in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for you to make sure you can take part.

Canvass Reform

From 2020 the way we conduct our annual canvass will change. Canvass Reform has seen the Cabinet Office set new instructions for the ERO to follow, these instructions are set in law.

How does the new Canvass work?

Step 1:  Data matching

  • Every June a copy of the Electoral Register is sent securely to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) where electors' names and addresses are matched against National Insurance details and the information held by the DWP.  In addition to this an ERO has the discretion to use local data (e.g. Council Tax records) to perform a matching exercise as well.
  • If all the registered people at a property can be matched with either of these databases, the property will follow a Route 1 Canvass.
  • If there are any people at a property that cannot be matched, the property will follow a Route 2 Canvass.
  • Care homes, nursing homes and all other properties that have a responsible person i.e. a duty manager will follow a Route 3 Canvass.

Step 2: Routes of communication

Route 1

  • If we hold an email address for you, we will send you an email to ask you to confirm that our details are correct.  If you need to submit a change you will be able to do this as well.
  • Within the email there will be a web address to access your property details which can be viewed at Household Response.
  • You will also receive two security codes in the email that are used as a log in to identify your property.
  • After logging in you will be able to confirm or change the details we hold for that property.
  • If we do not hold an email address for you, or we do not receive a response from that email, we will send the property a form, addressed to The Occupier, which will have the elector details listed on it.  If they are correct you do not need to do anything more. If you would like to add or remove someone from the property, go to the website address and use the security codes on the form to log in and complete that change.
  • The easiest way to complete the form is online at the Household Response website. It takes just a few minutes. Enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code. As well as confirming no changes, you can also add or remove names via this route.
  • If nothing has changed and the information is correct, you can also:

  • Call 0800 197 9871 and when prompted enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code.

  • Text NOCHANGE followed by your security code to 80212 (if nobody is eligible to vote you should include a reason after your security code; for example: empty, business, 2nd home, none, other)
  • Alternatively, you can complete the form and post it back to us at Electoral Services, Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX

Route 2

  • We will send the property a form, addressed to The Occupier, which will list the names of the electors currently registered to vote at that address. Where we have no-one registered at an address a blank form will be sent to the property.
  • We need a response from this form even if there are no changes to report.
  • The easiest way to complete the form is online at the Household Response website. It takes just a few minutes. Enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code. As well as confirming no changes, you can also add or remove names via this route.
  • If nothing has changed and the information is correct, you can also:
  • Call 0800 197 9871 and when prompted enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code.
  • Text NOCHANGE followed by your security code to 80212 (if nobody is eligible to vote you should include a reason after your security code; for example: empty, business, 2nd home, none, other)
  • Alternatively, you can complete the form and post it back to us in the pre-paid envelope provided.
  • If we do not receive a response from the form, we will make every attempt to get a response from you, this may be via reminder forms, the telephone or a visit to your property.

Route 3

  • Care managers or duty managers will receive a letter with a list of those registered at the address.
  • The easiest way to complete the form is online at the Household Response website. It takes just a few minutes. Enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code. As well as confirming no changes, you can also add or remove names via this route.
  • If nothing has changed and the information is correct, you can also:
  • Call 0800 197 9871 and when prompted enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code.
  • Text NOCHANGE followed by your security code to 80212 (if nobody is eligible to vote you should include a reason after your security code; for example: empty, business, 2nd home, none, other)
  • Alternatively, you can complete the form and post it back to us in the pre-paid envelope provided.
  • If we do not receive a response from the form, we send we will make every attempt to get a response from you, this may be via reminder forms, the telephone or a visit to your property.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and to protect our officers we may not visit your property until it is safe to do so.

Frequently asked questions

I’ve already registered, will I still get an annual canvass communication?

You will be contacted every year to find out if there have been any changes to who is living at your address. If there are changes, you must provide the information requested. The purpose of the canvass communication is to confirm who lives at your address. This means we can invite other residents, including any 16 and 17 year-olds, to register to vote if we need to.

Why do you still need to send a canvass communication every year?

In order to know who is eligible to register to vote, including any 16 or 17 year-olds, we need to know who lives at your address. The canvass communication is designed to collect this information. The information provided on the form will allow us to send a separate individual registration form to all the people in your household who are eligible and need to register.

What will happen after I complete the canvass communication?

Any new names provided on the form will allow us to send a separate individual registration form to those in your household who are not yet registered. If names are crossed out it will allow us to remove anyone who no longer lives in the property.

How do I complete the information requested on the canvass communication?

Completing the form only takes a few minutes. You need to include the name and nationality of everyone aged 16 or over who is resident and eligible to register to vote. If there are not eligible residents, you should state why this is the case. If anyone listed on the form is not living at your address, their name/s should be clearly crossed through.

The easiest way to complete the form is on the Household update service website. It takes just a few minutes. Enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code. You will find your security code on both sides of the form. As well as confirming no changes, you can also add or remove names via this route.

There are people listed on the canvass communication that don’t live here, what do I do?

If anyone listed on the form is not living at your address, their name/s should be clearly crossed through.

Do I put down everyone who lives here?

You need to include the name and nationality of everyone aged 16 or over who is resident and eligible to register to vote. If there are no eligible residents, you should state why this is the case.

Do I have to respond to a canvass communication?

If you have been sent a canvass communication A form (CCA) confirming the names of people already living at your address, and there are no changes, you do not need to respond. 

If you have been sent a canvass communication B (CCB) or a Canvass Form (CF), which asks you to confirm if the details listed on the form are correct or not, you need to respond by law, and provide the information requested on the form.

The easiest way to complete the form is on the Household update service website. It takes just a few minutes. Enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code. You will find your security code on both sides of the form. As well as confirming no changes, you can also add or remove names via this route.

There is a criminal penalty for failing to provide the information required by the canvass form to the Electoral Registration Officer of a maximum of £1,000. The penalty for providing false information to an Electoral Registration Officer is imprisonment of up to 51 weeks in England and Wales or, (on summary conviction) an unlimited fine.

I received a canvass communication, but the information needs changing. How can I update it?

If anyone listed on the canvass communication is not living at your address, their name can be crossed out.

The name and nationality of everyone aged over 16  who is resident and eligible to register to vote should be added if they are missing.

If your nationality has changed, and you are now 76 or over correct and return the form and we will make the change or contact you if we require further information.

Do I need to include my email address and phone number on the canvass form?

You are invited to include your email address and phone number on the canvass form, but you do not have to. We will use this information only in connection with your registration, and it helps us to contact you if there is a problem.

I have already applied to register; do I need to return the canvass communication I’ve received too?

Yes. The canvass communication is not a registration form, but instead provides us with information on who lives in your household. This means we can invite other residents, including any 16 or 17 year-olds, to register to vote if we need to.

I have already returned a canvass communication; do I need to return the registration form I’ve received too?

You should complete and return the registration form or register on the GOV.UK website. The canvass communication is not a registration form, but instead provides us with information on who lives in your household. This means we can invite other residents, including any 16 or 17 year-olds, to register to vote if we need to.

Security and privacy

Will my details be shared with other organisations?

Using information received from the public, electoral registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited 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 (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.

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 organisation. 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.

In addition, the Electoral Registration Officer will process your personal information in accordance with current data protection legislation. See the Electoral Services Privacy Notice

Is the data I enter online secure?

The online registration service and the data you provide is secure. It has been independently accredited, tested for security and developed to meet best practice guidelines for data security.

Why do you want my National Insurance number?

Under the individual electoral registration system, people need to provide a few more details about themselves to register – these are date of birth and National Insurance number. These details are checked against government records to verify the person’s identity. This is intended to make the system more secure.

Why do you want my date of birth?

Under the individual electoral registration system people need to provide a few more details about themselves to register – these are date of birth and National Insurance number. These details are checked against government records to verify the person’s identity. This is intended to make the system more secure.

How do I join or get removed from the open (edited) register?

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 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 (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.

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 organisation. 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 change your opt-out preference at any time by making a request with your full name, address and an indication of whether you wish to be included in or omitted from the edited register. You can do this in writing or by email to elect@rbkc.gov.uk  We will also write to you to confirm any change.

What is the open (edited) register?

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 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 (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.

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 organisation. 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.