Annual Electoral Register Canvass 2021

Household Canvass 2021 - Make sure your correct details are on the electoral register. We will be contacting all households during July and August.

Look out for your canvass communication arriving by email or post

What is the annual canvass? 

Every year, we are required by law to conduct an annual canvass to make sure the electoral register is up to date.   The purpose of the canvass is to identify everyone who should be on the electoral register. 

The way the annual canvass is carried out changed in 2020 following the introduction of new legislation by the Government. 

How does the annual canvass work?

Data matching

  • The electoral register is securely data matched against Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) records. 
  • The results of this data matching exercise determines whether the electors living in each property are likely to have changed or not.
  • If the records show that the details for a property are unlikely to have changed, the property  will follow the Route 1 canvass process.
  • If there are people at a property that cannot be matched or the data matching process indicates that there may be a change to the information for a property, the property will follow the Route 2 canvass process.
  • Care homes and nursing homes and all other properties that have a responsible person such as a duty manager, will follow the Route 3 canvass process. This involves contact being made with the manager or other responsible person of the establishment.

Communication - what will you receive?

Depending on the result of the data matching for each property, in July and August households will receive:

Route 1 properties:

  • Electronic communication (e-comms) by email.    Where an email address is held for anyone registered at a Route 1 property we will send an email on 14 July 2021.  The purpose of the email communication is to ask householders to check the names of people registered at an address using an online system.  Housedholds can respond using the link  and security codes provided in the email to log in and confirm or update the details.  If you receive an email please help us to reduce our costs by responding online by 28 July - where a response is not recieved we are required to send a confirmation letter to the property by post. 

  • Canvass Communication  A (CCA) confirmation letter addressed to 'The Occupier' will be sent by post on 11 August.  You will be asked to check the names of people registered at the address.  If all the information  is correct,  no response is required.  If any of the details need to be changed or names need to be added or removed, householders can respond online, and use the security codes printed on the letter to log in and register the changes.    Anyone unable to report any changes using the online method, can call our electoral services team on 01476 406080.   This communication by post will not be sent if a response has already been received to an email communication.


Route 2 properties:

  • Canvass Form (CF)  addressed to  'The Occupier' will be sent by post on 27 July. This form lists the names of the people who are currently registered at the address.  A blank form will be sent if the property has no current registered electors.  A reply envelope will be enclosed.  A response is required to this form even if there are no changes to report. Responses to this form can be made by any of the following methods:

    • Online at  You will need the security numbers which are printed on the front page of the form. You can make changes to the details for your household using this service; or
    • Complete the paper form and return it using the pre-paid envelope; or
    • If nothing has changed and the details printed on the form are correct, you can also phone 0800 197 9871 to confirm there are no changes.  You will need the security numbers printed on the front page of the form to confirm by phone.

If we do not receive a response to this form, a reminder letter will be sent at the end of August.  If we receive no response to the reminder, we are required to contact you either by telephone or make a visit to your property to confirm the details. 

What happens next?

If you tell us there are new people eligible to be registered, they will each need to register individually.  They can go online to register at If they do not apply online we will send an "invitation to register" to each person you have added (these will be sent either by email or post).  Each person is required to provide their National Insurance number and date of birth when they apply to be registered.

If you tell us someone has moved away, we may need to send a further letter to each individual so that we have confirmation that they have moved away.  This is because we are required to have two pieces of evidence to remove someone from the electoral register.

If you tell us that someone has changed their name, we will send them a further letter to request a copy of their marriage or deed poll certificate to enable their name to be changed on the register.

Do I need to re-register each year?

Once you're registered you don't need to register again unless you change your address or name.  However you will receive a Canvass Communication every year, even if you are already registered.  This means we can ensure the register is kept up to date. 

Will my details be shared with other organisations?

Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the Electoral Register and the open register (also known as the edited register). 

Find out more about opting in/out of the open register 

View the Electoral Services Privacy Notice

If you have a query regarding the canvass communication you have received or about registering to vote, please contact the electoral services team during normal office hours on 01476 40 60 80 or email