The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) must carry out an “annual canvass” of all households each year, to ensure that the Electoral Register is complete and accurate. The law requires that every household must be contacted by the ERO to request information about who is resident at the address to ensure that all eligible electors are registered to vote.
Previously, this request would have been by paper form sent to the address and ALL households were required to respond. If no response was received, then reminder forms were sent or a personal visit carried out.
In 2020, the law changed, and new procedures were introduced. The purpose of the changes are to make the annual canvass simpler for citizens and to reduce the administration involved, whilst still maintaining the completeness and accuracy of the register.
In 2020 a number of changes to the annual canvass process were introduced. The new annual canvass process begins with checking the Electoral Register against national government data so we can check the accuracy of the register before we send out any correspondence.
The data match will confirm whether government records indicate that all the registered electors for a property are still residents or not. The results will be shown as Green for a positive match or Red for a negative match against each individual elector.
Households with only green matches will go down Route 1.
Route 1 - you may receive either an email or text message asking you to confirm the details of the residents of your address. If you do not respond to this you will receive a Canvass Communication A (CCA) - this form is used where we believe we have got the most up to day information about who lives at your household.
Households with a least one red match will go down Route 2.
Route 2 – will not receive an email or text message but will instead receive a Canvass Form (CF) - this form is used where information about your household did not match and therefore could be out of date.
There is also an additional Route 3 used for ‘defined properties’.
Route 3 – Defined properties are those that have multiple occupants, who do not form a single household, these include:-
- Care/residential homes, student halls of residence and HMOs'
- The ERO will contact a ‘responsible person’ for the above properties where they have their details and will email them or contact them by phone. A ‘responsible person’ can be any of the following:- a care/residential home manager, student accommodation manager, or private landlord.
If for any reason the ‘responsible person’ cannot provide the information requested within a reasonable period then these properties will be moved to Route 2 and follow that process instead.
Please see further explanation of each below.
How you need to respond to your Canvass communication
|I have received...||Do I need to respond?||How do I respond?|
An email or text
|Yes, you must respond. If you do not respond we will have to follow up with a letter.||
A letter that tells me to respond (CF).
|Yes, you must respond. If you do not respond we will have to send further reminders.||
A letter that tells me to respond if there are changes to be made (CCA).
|ONLY if there are changes to be made.||
Reminder canvass form
|Yes, you must respond. If you do not respond we will have to send further reminders.||
The way in which Electoral Services contact you at the canvass has changed. If you have provided your email or telephone number in the past, Electoral Services can now request your information by email or text.
The email will be from firstname.lastname@example.org and the text from GOV.UK
Both will direct you to following website: The household update service (householdresponse.com)
You are asked to check your details online and confirm whether they are correct or whether you have any changes to make. If you respond to the email or text as soon as you receive it, you will not be sent a paper form or any further communication during the canvass.
If for any reason you are still unsure you can contact Electoral Services or visit the website at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/elections for further information.
Electoral Services will send a text or email to all residents at a property so that they all get an opportunity to respond, where they hold a telephone number or email address. Therefore, you must not have provided your contact details in the past but your partner/housemate did.
Adding your name to a canvass form or on the household response website does not mean that you are registered to vote. You will also need to complete a registration application.
You can do this at Register to vote - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
We will send each person an Invitation to Register (ITR) form if they do not apply online.
If you have moved into a new address recently please check that you are responding for your current address. If the household response service shows your previous address, please do not proceed and ignore the email.
It all depends on which form you have received. At the bottom of the form if it says CCA then this form is for households where we think the information may still be the same. If this is the case then you DO NOT need to respond. If the form says CF at the bottom, this is the form that we send to properties where we think that some of the information is incorrect. You MUST respond to a CF form, so Electoral Services know that your details are still correct and so they do not send you any further forms.
You can do this online, or by telephone or post. Please only post the form back if you cannot use any of the electronic methods
- Then visit Register to vote - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) to register to vote online.
Yes, your form is blank as there are no names on the register for your address. However, Electoral Services still need a response from you to confirm that you are still resident (even though you cannot register) and that there are no new people to add. You do not need to include your names on the form, just tick the box in Section 2, enter your nationality and sign the form. You can do this online, or by telephone or post. Please only post the form back if you cannot use any of the electronic methods.
If you have received a form you must respond regardless of whether you want to register or not. Students are allowed to register for their term time address and we encourage students to do so whilst they are living in Nottingham. You do not need to remove yourself from your home address as you can be registered in both places. If your form has the names of the previous residents then you need to remove these names and add the names of all the new residents who want to register. You can do this online, or by telephone or post. Please only post the form back if you cannot use any of the electronic methods.
Yes you can add someone who is 16 or 17 when you respond. They can register but will not be able to vote until they turn 18. They will then need to register by either visiting Register to vote - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) or by waiting and completing an ITR when they receive it.
Yes, Electoral Services can now request information directly from the responsible person for a property, instead of sending a form to the address. Please respond to the request by providing the full names and nationalities of all residents in your properties and confirming whether they are over 76 years old or not.
If you have any further questions, please contact Electoral Services.
If you have responded to a canvass communication and realise that you made a mistake, please contact Electoral Services, to advise which information was entered incorrectly and what the correct information should be.
Please do not attempt to submit another response via one of the automated channels or by post.
If you are concerned about your name and address appearing on the electoral register because it could affect your safety, or the safety of someone living with you, you may be able to register anonymously.
In this instance please complete your paper Canvass Form (CF), making a note on the CF to request an anonymous registration application form. Remember to cross out the name of anyone listed on the form who no longer lives at the address, and to complete the Declaration in Section 5 before sending the form back in the return envelope addressed to Electoral Reform Services, London.
When we receive your CF, we will send you an application form to register anonymously, which you should complete and return along with evidence to support your application. We can accept any of the following as supporting evidence.
Eligible court documents you can use to support your application
- An injunction to restrain a person from pursuing any conduct which amounts to harassment granted in proceedings
- An injunction granted under Protection from Harassment Act
- A restraining order made under the Protection from Harassment Act
- A restraining order on acquittal
- A non-harassment order
- A non-molestation order made the Family Law Act
- A matrimonial interdict
- A domestic interdict
- A relevant interdict
- An interdict that has been determined to be a domestic abuse interdict
- Any interdict with an attached power of arrest
- A forced marriage protection order or interim forced marriage protection order
- A domestic violence protection order
- A female genital mutilation protection order
No other court documents are acceptable, and the court document must be in force on the day of your application to register anonymously.
An attestation from a qualifying officer supporting your application.
Only those listed below may attest an application. The attestation cannot be delegated to a more junior person within an organisation. A qualifying officer can be:
- A police officer of or above the rank of inspector of any police force in England and Wales
- A police officer of or above the rank of inspector of the Police Service of Scotland
- A police officer of or above the rank of inspector of the Police Service of Northern Ireland
- The Director General of the Security Service
- The Director General of the National Crime Agency
- Any director of adult social services in England
- Any director of children’s services in England
- Any director of social services in Wales
- Any chief social work officer in Scotland
- Any director of social services of a Health and Social Services Board
- Any executive director of social work of a Health and Social Services Trust
- Any registered medical practitioner
- Any registered nurse or midwife
- Any person who manages a refuge. A “refuge” means accommodation with a planned programme of therapeutic and practical support for victims of, or those at risk of, domestic abuse or violence
Read more about registering to vote anonymously.