Annual Electoral Registration Canvass 2023 frequently asked questions

The way we carry out the annual canvass to update the electoral register has changed. Instead of sending all households a form which has to be returned, we will now carry out a data matching exercise with the Department of Work and Pensions and local datasets before we send any correspondence out.

We expect approximately 80% of households to have a full match of all occupants and these households will be sent a letter saying that no response is required unless the information is wrong. The letter will tell you how to make any changes by going online at using the security codes provided.

For the properties where we do not get a match, a letter will be sent which shows the details currently held on the electoral register. You must respond to this letter even if there are no changes to make. You will be given details of how to respond by going online at using the security codes provided.

If you do not have access to the internet you can contact the helpline 01282 477261/477263

Do I need to respond to any communication I am sent?

You only need to respond if:

  • you need to make a change, or
  • the correspondence states that a response is required. The quickest and easiest way to make any changes is online at using the security codes provided or by calling the helpline 01282 477261/477263. I have responded to the letter or form online. Do I still need to return the paper communication? No you do not need to return any paper communication if you have responded online or by phone. Who is eligible to register? You can register to vote if you are:
  • 16 years old or over (you can only vote when you are 18)
  • A UK citizen
  • A qualifying Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK
  • An EU citizen resident in the UK A qualifying Commonwealth citizen is someone who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or does not require such leave. My details are already on the communication I have received. Does this mean I am registered to vote? Yes it does mean that you are registered to vote.

The details on the communication I have received are incorrect?

If there is someone living at the property who is not on the form, you should add them, by going online at or calling the helpline 01282 477261/477263. This will allow us to send a separate individual registration form to those in your household who are not yet registered. Alternatively they can do this online at they will need their date of birth and National Insurance Number.

If someone on the form no longer lives at the property, let us know by going online at or calling the helpline 01282 477261/477263. This will allow us to remove anyone who no longer lives in the property.

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 but you do not have to. We will only use this information in connection with your registration so we can contact you if there is a problem.

I have already applied to register individually. Do I need to respond to the canvass communication too?

Yes. The canvass communication is not a registration form but instead provides us with information on who lives in your household.

Opting out of the ‘open register’

There are two versions of the electoral register – the full version and the ‘open register’

All names and addresses are included in the full version of the electoral register. The full version of the register is only used for:

  • Elections
  • Prevention and detection of crime
  • Checking applications for loans or credit
  • Jury summoning in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

You can opt out of the open register. This is the version of the register that is available to anyone who wants to buy a copy. Opting out does not affect your right to vote or your credit score. If you have a question that has not been answered here please contact the helpline 01282 477261/477263.