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Annual Voter Registration (canvass)

The Annual Voter Registration form (or Canvass) is usually carried out every Autumn and will commence on 1 October throughout the UK with the register being published on 17 February 2014. Canvassers will deliver forms over a two week period from 1 October 2013 and there is a legal obligation for electors to complete it every year or you could be fined up to £1000. 

When you received the form you should read the information sheets provided before checking the details are correct.

No changes

If you have no changes to make to the details on the preprinted form there are three ways of confirming your details..

  • by phone on our free automated telephone response service on 0808 284 1428,
  • by the web on our free internet registration 
  • by SMS text service but you will be charged at the standard network rates on 0778 6209 428.

You will need to have the form to hand as it has the unique codes that you will require. Please follow the instructions when prompted by your chosen service.

Changes to make

If the details on the preprinted form are wrong and you have changes to make, just amend them by crossing out the name(s) of the people who are no longer there and adding the name(s) of any new eligible residents. Please make sure you sign and date the form before returning it to us or we will have to send it back to you.

Not received a form?

If you have not received a form by 14 October 2013, please contact Electoral Services.

Recently registered?

If you have already made a new application to be added to the Electoral Register before 2 September 2013 then your details will already be pre-printed. However you will still need to respond to this new form to confirm the detail are correct.

When should I respond?

The simple answer is now unless you are moving house before October in which case you should leave the form for the new residents to complete. Reminders will be posted out to all properties, which have not replied, by 18 November 2013. This is of course an additional expense so please help us to keep printing and postage costs to a minimum by doing your reply right away

What about the census form?

This form is nothing to do with the Census, this form is only to enable us to compile an accurate register of electors. If you do not respond to the form your name may not appear on the register and you will not be able to vote at the next election. It will also affect your credit rating.

The form is not addressed to me

We address the paperwork to "The Present Occupier" to ensure it gets to the people actually living at the property. All forms contain the pre-printed details of the electors who are currently listed at that address. It may be that we have not been informed that the previous occupiers have moved out. Check the address on the form to ensure it has been delivered correctly and if the pre-printed people no longer live at your address please cross those names out and add your names to the form.

Providing your nationality

Please state your nationality on the form, without it we can not process the information and the form will have to be returned to you. If your nationality is different from the pre-printed form, please enclose a photocopy of your passport or certificate of naturalisation along the amended form.

Moving house in October?

If you are due to move house then please contact the office so that we can discuss your circumstances.

No one eligible to register?

If there is no one eligible to be registered at your address then please ensure you complete section 3 as well as signing and dating the form. Without it we can not process the information and the form will be returned to you. If you are unsure as to whether you qualify to register please look at our section on who can vote or contact electoral services.

Over 70 years old?

If you are over 70, please indicate this in the 'Jury service exemption' section of the form. Anyone over 70 is no longer eligible to perform Jury Service and we have to supply this information to the Jury Summoning Service.

16 or 17 year olds?

We only need dates of birth for 16 and 17 year olds, anyone under that age is not allowed to register so their details must not be completed on the form. If you are over 18 you do not need to include your date of birth.

Don't want your details to be sold on?

Make sure you have a tick in the Edited Register column if you do not want you name to appear on the Edited Register. The council must make the Edited Register available for general sale and it can be used for any purpose including marketing. Everyone will be included in the Full register, which is used for voting purposes and supplied to the Credit Reference Agencies. If you want to opt back into the Edited Register (so that marketing companies and other 3rd parties can buy your details) then you also have that option by crossing out the tick.

Postal vote application forms

If you would like a to vote by post you will need to complete a postal vote application form. If there is a pre-printed tick in this column, this means you already have postal vote arrangements in place.and therefore do not need to complete another form. If you wish to cancel the postal vote, cross out the pre-printed tick before signing and returning the form .

Proxy vote application forms

If you would like to vote by proxy please contact the Electoral Services Office or write the words 'proxy' in the postal vote section of the form.and we will send you an application form. You need to have a specific reason to vote by proxy, such as a disability or being away at university so please let us know which type of form you require otherwise we will not be able to send it to you.

Service voters (Army, navy, etc)

Services Electors (Army, Navy, etc) must not be included on the form. If you are in the Armed Forces, please contact Electoral Services to find out how to register.

Overseas electors

Overseas Electors must not be included in the form. If someone is living overseas permanently, please contact Electoral Services to find out how to register..

Student information

Students away at University are able to register twice. Both at their parents home and at their term time address such as a university residence.


If someone is staying with you on holiday who are short term guests they should not be included.

For further information please contact Electoral Services.

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