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Annual household canvass (electoral register)

The annual canvass process helps us update your household information on our electoral register. This means you will be eligible to vote in any future elections. We are required by law, to contact every household to obtain and confirm the names of residents. 

This year’s canvass has not been suspended as a result of Covid-19.

Changes to the 2020 canvass

The Annual Canvass process has been improved this year and as part of the Government's canvass reform programme, we will be using data and electronic communication, such as email and text messaging, to make the process simpler. 

This year's canvass is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing. Please consider responding to the canvass online wherever possible.

Step 1: Data Matching

Under the new process our electoral register is sent securely to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) where it is matched against their records. In addition to this, we have the discretion to use local data (e.g. Council Tax records) to perform a matching exercise as well.

Once that process is complete your property will be put into one of three categories, or routes:

  • if all the registered people at a property can be matched with either of these databases the property will be sent down Route 1 canvass
  • if there are any people at a property that cannot be matched the property will be sent down Route 2 canvass
  • care homes, student halls and all other properties that have a responsible person i.e. a duty manager will be sent down Route 3 canvass.   

Step 2: Communications and how to respond

In a change to the previous annual canvass, some households will need to respond and some will not, it will be clearly stated on the communication that is sent to you.

When you receive a communication from us, please read the instructions carefully and respond where this is required. 

Route 1 properties

  • if we hold an email address for you, we will send you an email around 29 June 2020 to ask you to confirm that the details we have are correct - if you need to submit a change you will be able to do this as well
  • within the email there will be a web address to access your property details - www.householdresponse.com/bcpcouncil, along with two security codes that are used as a log in to identify your property
  • when logging in you will be asked for the post code of the property and then you will be able to confirm or change the details we hold for that property.
  • if we do not hold an email address for you, or we do not receive a response from that email, we will send the property an A4 ‘Canvass Communication A’ form (CCA) around 17 July 2020, which will have the elector details listed on it - if they are correct you do not need to do anything more, 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 and you have changes to submit, you can call us on 01202 633097

Route 2 properties

  • we will send an A3 ‘Canvass Form’ to the property through the post around 10 July 2020 which will have elector details listed on it if we are aware of registered electors - a blank form will be sent if there are no registered electors
  • we need a response to this form even if there are no changes to report
  • in order to respond, or 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 do not wish to respond online and you have no changes to submit you can either:
    • call 0800 197 9871 for the automated telephone service
    • text NOCHANGE followed by your security code to 80212 (standard network charges apply)
    • post this form back to us addressed to:
      Electoral Registration Officer,
      Town Hall,
      Bourne Avenue,
      Bournemouth
      BH2 6DY
  • If we do not receive a response to the form by 10 August 2020, we will make further attempts to get a response from you, this may be by:
    • email
    • a ‘Canvass Communication B’ form (CCB)
    • telephone
    • a visit to your property.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and to protect our officers we may not visit your property until it is safe to do so.

Route 3 properties

  • care managers or duty managers will receive an email to confirm details of residents.
  • within the email there will be a web address to access the property details - www.householdresponse.com/bcpcouncil, along with two security codes that are used as a log in to identify the property
  • we need a response from you even if there are no changes to report
  • if you need 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 we do not receive a response from the emails we send, we will make further attempts to get a response from you, this may be via a form, a telephone call or a visit to the property.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and to protect our officers we may not visit the property until it is safe to do so.

Examples of the forms  

Canvass forms are prescribed by law and can not be changed.  Examples of the forms that we could send to you are:

Dates of the annual household canvass 

The annual canvass begins around 1 July each year.

Canvass emails and forms will be sent around this time, up until the end of August.

The revised register is published by 1 December of that same year - due to the Covid-19 pandemic the revision of the register may take place as late as 1 February 2021.

If you've recently moved home

If you have moved home recently and registered for Council Tax your details will not be entered onto the electoral register automatically. You have to register to vote.

If you can't register to vote online, then you can either:

  • call us on 01202 633097
  • complete the canvass form and we will send a paper application when we receive a response back from you.

If you're a new resident

If your name or anyone's name who should be registered is not currently listed on the form or online, they will need to register to vote.

If you can't register to vote online, then you can either:

  • call us on 01202 633097
  • complete the canvass form and we will send a paper application when we receive a response back from you.

Deletions

If you delete someone’s details, we may write to the individual to confirm they no longer live there.

Special category electors

Your name will not appear on the form sent to the property if you’re a special category elector, such as a service voter or overseas voter.

Students

If you are a student studying away from home, you are able to register at both your home address and your term time address. You will be able to vote in both places, but not for the same election.

This means you can vote in local elections at both addresses as long as they are in different local government areas, but cannot vote at both addresses in a Parliamentary election.

What happens if you don't respond

Up until the 30 November, you may receive a reminder by either:

  • email
  • further forms in the post
  • telephone
  • visit to your property.

If you do not respond, an Electoral Canvasser will either call you if we have your phone number or visit to collect the information (due to the Covid-19 outbreak house visits may not occur).

If you are not registered to vote, you will be unable to have your say in any future elections or referendums. 

Credit Reference Agencies use the electoral Register for credit checking purposes, so if your name is not included you may experience difficulties in obtaining credit when applying for goods or services.