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Annual Electoral Canvass

Each year the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) has a legal requirement to conduct the annual canvass to ensure that the electoral register is accurate and complete.  Usually, a revised register is published on 1 December.

The Cabinet Office has implemented a reformed annual canvass from 2020.  EROs have a new set of processes to follow which are set in law.

How does the new Annual Canvass work?

Step 1: Data Matching

The latest version of the Electoral Register will be sent securely to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).  The names and addresses on the Electoral Register will be matched against databases held by the DWP.

Once the data has been compared to information held by the DWP, the results of the matching will be sent securely to the ERO.

Once this process is complete, the ERO can use locally held data (such as Council Tax records) to carry our further data matching.

Matched Properties

If all the people registered to vote at a property can be matched with the DWP or local databases, the property will progress down Route 1 for the canvass.

Unmatched Properties

If there are any people at a property that cannot be matched with the DWP or local databases, the property will progress down Route 2 for the canvass.

Step 2: Communication with Households

Route 1

If an email address has been provided, we will send an email to confirm that the details that we hold for the property are correct. 

There will be a web link in the email which can be used to confirm that the details are correct, or to update the information that is held.  There will be two security codes on that email which need to be used to login and identify your property.

If we do not hold an email address, or we do not receive a response to an email that was sent, we will send a letter to the property.  The letter will list the electors that are registered to vote at that property.  If the details are correct, nothing needs to be done.  If changes need to be made, this can be done using the web link and the security codes.

If a response cannot be made online, a Customer Services Officer can complete the response on behalf of the household.  Customer Services can be contacted on 01502 523320.

Route 2

We will send a letter to the property which will list the electors that are registered at that property.  If no electors are registered, this will be indicated on the letter.

We must have a response to this letter, even if the details are correct.

  • To make changes, a web link will be included in the letter. There will be two security codes in the letter which need to be used to login and identify your property.
  • To confirm that all the details are correct, the web link can be used but there is also an automated telephone line [0800 060 8798] and a text response [07860 018386] that can be used.  No changes can be made using the automated telephone line or by sending a text.

If a response cannot be made using one of the automated response channels, a Customer Services Officer can complete the response on behalf of the household.  Customer Services can be contacted on 01502 523320.

If we do not receive a response from this letter, we must follow it up.  We may send a reminder email and we must send a reminder form.  If we do not get a response from the email or reminder form, a canvasser may contact the property.  Canvassers may visit the property in person, or by phone if we have the number of an elector at the property. 

Route 3

Care homes, nursing homes and other properties that have a responsible person (e.g. A Manager) will be canvassed separately.

Step 3:  Responses

Updated information – Changes to be made

Confirmation that all information is correct – No changes to be made