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Annual canvass

Each year the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) must conduct an annual canvass to ensure the electoral register is accurate and complete. The 2020 annual canvass has had a revamp by the Cabinet Office. They have set new instructions for the ERO to follow, these instructions are set in law.

What is different this year?

Step one: Data matching

  • The Electoral Register is uploaded securely to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) database. Electors' names and address will then be 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, then the property will be sent down route one canvass.
  • If there are any people at a property that cannot be matched the property will be sent down route two canvass.
  • Care homes, nursing homes and all other properties that have a responsible person i.e. a duty manager will be sent down route three canvass.

Step 2: Routes of communication

Route one

  • If we hold an email address or mobile number for you, the Electoral Team will send you an email/text to ask you to confirm that your details are correct. If you need to submit a change you will be able to do this as well.
  • Within the email/text there will be a web address ( to access your property details.
  • You will also receive two security codes in the email/text that are used as a log in to identify your property.
  • After logging in you will be able to confirm or change the details that we hold for that property.
  • If we do not hold an email address/mobile number for you, or we do not receive a response, we will send the property a form which will have the elector details listed. If they are correct you do not need to do anything more, however 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.
  • If you are unable to respond online, please call 0300 123 7045.

Route two

  • We will send a form to the property through the post which will have elector details listed on it if we are aware of registered electors. A blank form will be sent if the property is showing as empty on our database.
  • We need a response from this form even if there are no changes to report.
  • If you would like to add or remove someone's name from the property, go to the website address on the form and use the security codes to log in and complete that change.
  • If you are unable to respond online and have no changes to submit please call 0800 197 9871 for the automated telephone service. If you have changes call 0300 123 7045.
  • If we do not receive a response from the initial form, an alternative form will be sent followed by a telephone call or a visit to your property. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect our officers we may not visit your property until it is safe to do so.

Route three

  • Care managers or duty managers will be contacted by the Electoral Team and will be asked to confirmed residents.

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