Do I need to respond to the Annual Canvass?

The reformed canvass uses a data matching exercise to decide which route a property goes into for the canvass. If we match all electors registered in a property with Department for Work and Pensions(DWP) or local council tax data, we will send you a Canvass Communication A letter (CCA).

If you receive this letter, you will only need to respond if your household has changed.

If we have not matched each elector registered in your property, you will receive a Canvass Communication B letter (CCB). You will need to respond even if the information on the letter is still correct. Therefore, you will report no change, or you will be letting us know of a change that has occurred within your household.

The letter will clearly state whether you have received the CCA or CCB letter.

How can I respond to the canvass?

As in previous years, we are trying to promote automated methods of response:

Online:

Visit the household update service page, enter both security codes shown on the letter, follow the prompts to update and confirm household information.

Phone:

Call 0800 197 9871, and when prompted, enter part 1 and part 2 of the security code.

Text:

Text NOCHANGE followed by security codes to 80212. If nobody in the property is eligible to register to vote, a reason should be included after the security codes, e.g. empty, business, second home. There is a standard rate charge using text.

By post:

Make any changes to the form and send it to:

Electoral Services
Council Offices
Holt Road
Cromer
NR27 9EN

 

Please note, we will not be issuing prepaid reply envelopes with the CCA or CCB forms.

Why is the letter addressed to The Occupier?

We address all canvass property communications to The Occupier as someone else may have moved into the property since we did the last canvass.

I've already registered. Will I still get an annual canvass communication?

Yes. Every year, we will contact you to find out if there have been any changes to anyone living at your address.  If there are changes, you must provide the information requested.  The purpose of the canvass communication is to confirm who lives at your address. We can then invite other residents, including any 16 and 17 year-olds, to register to vote.

Why do you still need to send a canvass communication every year?

To know who is eligible to register to vote, including any 16 or 17 year-olds, we need to know who lives at your address. The canvass communication is designed to collect this information. The information provided on the form will allow us to send a separate individual registration form to all the people in your household who are eligible to vote.

What happens after I complete the canvass communication?

We will send out registration forms to any new names at the property who are not registered to vote. If names are crossed out, it will enable us to remove anyone who no longer lives at the property.

Who is eligible to register to vote?

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 16 years old or over and a British citizen or an Irish
  • qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizen who is resident in the UK (except for service voters or overseas voters)

17-year olds and some 16-year olds are entitled to be included on the register as attainers. They can vote once they are 18.

Commonwealth citizens must be resident in the UK and have leave to enter or remain in the UK. The definition of a Commonwealth citizen includes citizens of British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.

Citizens of the European Union (who are not Commonwealth citizens or citizens of the Republic of Ireland) can vote in:

  • local elections in the UK
  • elections to the Scottish Parliament
  • Welsh Parliament and Northern Ireland Assemblies (if they live in those areas)
  • some referendums (based on the rules for the particular referendum), but cannot vote in UK Parliamentary general elections.

How can I register to vote?

You can apply to register to vote on the government website.

You will need to provide the following:

  • National Insurance number
  • date of birth
  • postal voting preferences
  • whether you wish to appear on the open register

Registering to vote will not complete the canvass response. This response should be made using one of the methods above.

Can I register over the phone?

Yes. You will need to provide the following:

  • National Insurance number
  • date of birth

You will also have to answer a few questions relating to your registration preferences.

Your data will be uploaded securely to the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IERDS), where it will be matched with DWP data. If a match is made, we will add your details to the register at the next available date.

Can a family member register me?

No. Everybody needs to register themselves. However, you may get assistance if necessary, but you must make the declaration yourself. In certain circumstances, someone who has been granted appropriate power of attorney may be able to make the declaration on your behalf. You will need to speak to electoral registration staff at your local council to see whether this applies to you.

I moved house, am I still registered?

When you move home, you need to register at your new address, and if you previously had a postal or proxy voting arrangement, you will need to make a new application if you wish this to continue.

Can I register at two addresses?

Usually, people are registered at one address – their permanent home address. Students may register at both their term-time address and their non-term-time address. If you live somewhere temporarily but have a permanent address elsewhere, you should register at the permanent address.

Having a second home doesn't necessarily mean that you can register there as well. A person's name may appear on the electoral register only if they reside at an address within the electoral area. A residence is not defined in law; however, in England and Wales, it has been held by the courts to entail a considerable degree of permanence. Based on this criterion, a person can be registered to vote in two different electoral areas.

However, it is unlikely that ownership of a second home used only for recreational purposes would meet the residency qualification. Ownership of a second home that a voter pays council tax but is not resident in does not qualify them to be registered to vote in that area. It is for the local Electoral Registration Officer to decide in the light of an individual voter's circumstances whether they may be said to be resident at an address and therefore eligible for registration. Electoral Registration Officers are required to consider each case on its own merits.

In North Norfolk, we ask that a person wishing to register at their second home makes a declaration that they reside in the property for no less than six months of the year. We will then ask you to apply for a postal vote for local elections only and ensure they are clear that they do not vote more than once in any national election.

Do I need to register, and what happens if I don't?

If we have invited you to register to vote by post or email, you must respond. If you don't, we will send you reminders, and someone could visit your home. At the end of this process, we may send you a requirement to register; if you fail to do so without providing an adequate reason, you may be fined £80. Not being registered can also impact applications for mortgages or mobile phones since credit reference agencies use the register to validate applications.

How do I change my name on the register?

If your name has changed, you can complete a change of name form with your previous and new name and the change date. You will need to provide evidence to support the name change, such as a marriage certificate or deed poll. Alternatively, you can submit a new registration on the government website. You will need to provide your previous name and your new name.

What is the Invitation to Register form?

Once a Canvass response has been completed, and the new eligible person is added to a property, we will send an Invitation to Register form by post or email.

You must complete this form and include the following:

  • National Insurance number
  • date of birth
  • previous address in the last 12 months,
  • postal voting preferences
  • whether you wish to appear on the open register

You will not be registered to vote without completing this form. However, you can finish your registration online or call 01263 516046.

This form needs to be checked to ensure the name and address details are correct and that all other information is provided. Please provide an email address so we can contact you regarding your registration.

There are people listed on the canvass communication that don't live here.

If the form contains names not living at your address, their names should be crossed through or removed when using the online response.

We will send a review letter to anyone who has been deleted during the canvass response, informing them they will be removed. This process allows for any deletion errors to be rectified before final deletion, followed after 14 days if no response is received.

Do I need to include my email address and phone number on the canvass form?

No. We invite you to include your email address and phone number on the canvass form, but you do not have to. An email or phone number allows us to contact you in future canvasses and save money that could be used on other council services. We will use this information only in connection with your registration and contact you if there is a problem.

The address shown on my canvass communication has changed or is incorrect.

Please advise us of any changes, which we will pass on to our street naming and numbering team to investigate.

Will my details be shared with other organisations?

Using information received from the public, we keep two registers:

  • electoral register
  • open register (also known as the edited register)

Electoral register

The electoral register contains the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. We use this register for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.

Open register

The open register is an extract of the electoral register and is not used for elections. Any person, company or organisation can buy it. For example, by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details.

Your name and address will be included on the open register unless you ask to be removed or state this when you register to vote. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

In addition, the electoral registration officer will process your personal information under current data protection legislation.

Is the data I enter online secure?

Yes. The online registration service and the data you provide is secure. It has been independently accredited, tested for security and developed to meet best practice guidelines for data security.

Why do you want my National Insurance number and date of birth?

Under the individual electoral registration system, people need to provide their date of birth and National Insurance number. These details are checked against government records to verify the person's identity. This process makes the system more secure.

What is the difference between the Electoral Register and the Open (edited) Register?

Using information received from the public, we keep two registers:

  • electoral register
  • open register (also known as the edited register)

Electoral register

The electoral register contains the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. We use this register for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.

Open register

The open register is an extract of the electoral register and is not used for elections. Any person, company or organisation can buy it. For example, by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details.

Your name and address will be included on the open register unless you ask to be removed or state this when you register to vote. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

How do I get added or removed from the open (edited) register?

Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote. You can change your preferences at any time by making a request. We will need your:

  • full name
  • address
  • whether you wish to be included or omitted from the open register

You can do this in writing or over the phone by calling 01263 516046.  We will also write to you to confirm any change.

The credit reference agency does not believe I am on the electoral roll.

We provide monthly updates to the main credit reference agencies. If you have an issue, we can provide a certificate of residency free of charge. We can email this certificate to you to confirm your current electoral registration, which you can then pass to your credit reference agency.

I have no fixed address. Can I register?

Yes. You can still register to vote. You need to complete a declaration of local connection to show that you are connected to and spend time at a particular place. You can typically do this only for one place. We can issue this form by post, to a relevant address or by email.

Can I register anonymously?

Anonymous registration is available if your safety or any other person in the same household would be at risk if your name or address were made public. You must provide court documents or attestation in support of the application. A separate application form must be completed in writing – if you cannot register anonymously online.


Last updated: 30th July 2021