Annual Canvass 2021

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 and delete any entries that are now incorrect, ie where someone has moved from a property.

The way the annual canvass is carried out changed in 2020 following the introduction of new legislation by the Government. All households in the district will still be contacted, but the format of the correspondence and the date that it is sent will vary.

How does the annual canvass work?

Data matching

  • In June, data from the electoral register was sent to Central Government to securely match against their Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) records.
  • The results of this data matching exercise indicates 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 for matched properties.
  • 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 to gain the information for that property.

Communication - what will you receive?

Depending on the result of the data matching for each property households will receive at least one of the following communications during July-September:

Route 1 properties:

Electronic communication (e-comms) by email.

We will send an email around the end of July to any registered electors living in Route 1 properties for whom we hold an email address. Although more than one person in a property may receive the email, only one response is required. The purpose of the email communication is to ask householders to check the names of people registered at an address using an online system. Households can respond online 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 19 August. Where a response is not received we are required to send a confirmation letter to the property by post. If you no longer live at the address please call us on 01529 414155 or email elections@n-kesteven.gov.uk to advise. 

Canvass Communication A (CCA) 

Canvass Communication A (CCA) confirmation letters addressed to 'The Resident' will be sent by post around the beginning of September to properties where we hold no email addresses, or where no response has been received to the email communication. 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, households 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 01529 414155. This communication by post will not be sent if a response has already been received to an email communication.

Route 2 properties:

Canvass Communication B (CCB) form

Canvass Communication B (CCB) forms addressed to 'The Resident' will be sent by post around the end of 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 response is required to this form by 19 August even if there are no changes to report. Responses to this form can be made by any of the following methods:

  • Respond online. 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
  • Call us on 01529 414155 to report any changes if you are unable to complete online
  • If nothing has changed and the details printed on the form are correct, you can also phone 0800 197 98710 or text NO CHANGE to 80212 to confirm there are no changes. You will need the security numbers printed on the front page of the form to confirm by phone or text and further instructions can also be found there. 

Canvass Form (CF)

Canvass Forms (CF) addressed to 'The Resident' will be sent by post around the beginning of September to any properties that have not responded to their CCB by the deadline of 19 August. 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 methods listed above for the CCB and also by post.

Household visits to non-responding properties

For Route 2 properties, if we do not receive a response to either the CCB or CF forms which have been posted to the property, we are required to contact you either by telephone or to make a visit to your property to confirm the details.  Visits will take place between late September – November and may take place in the evenings and weekends as well as during weekdays. All canvassers will carry photographic ID and will be happy to show it to you. 

To avoid a visit or a telephone call, please respond to your canvass communication (CCB/CF) immediately. Your form will show you all the different ways you can respond, but the easiest way to is to respond online. You will need the two part security codes printed on the front of the forms to complete. Other response methods are shown on the form.

Service and anonymous voters

Please note that service voter details and any anonymous registrations will not appear on annual canvass communications. However, this does not necessarily mean that you are not registered. Please contact Electoral Services to check before making any response to your canvass communication, to avoid unnecessary duplicate registrations or any delay in responding which would result in a visit to your property. 

What happens next?

If you tell us that there are new people eligible to be registered, they will each need to register individually.  They can go online to register. 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 or they can make an application online to update their name details.

Do I need to re-register each year?

Once you are 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. 

Any other queries?

If you have a query regarding a canvass communication you have received or about registering to vote, please contact the electoral services team during normal office hours on 01529 414155 or email elections@n-kesteven.gov.uk.

Further information can also be found on our website regarding: