What is the Annual Canvass?
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.
How Does the Canvass Work?
The annual canvass process begins with checking the Electoral Register against national and local 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 households will receive a Canvass Communication A (CCA) - this e-mail, text message (SMS) or letter is used where we believe we have got the most up to date information about who lives at your household. See below for further information about CCA communications.
Route 1 Email (PDF Document, 720.7 Kb)
Route 1 SMS (PDF Document, 18.6 Kb)
Route 1 Letter (PDF Document, 312.47 Kb)
Households with a least one RED match will go down Route 2.
Route 2 households will receive a Canvass Form (CF) - this form is used where information about your household did not match and therefore could be out of date. See below for further information about CF communications.
Route 2 Initial Letter (for Occupied Properties) (PDF Document, 305.73 Kb)
Route 2 Initial Letter (for Unoccupied Properties) (PDF Document, 301.53 Kb)
Route 2 Canvass Form (for Occupied Properties) (PDF Document, 320.04 Kb)
Route 2 Canvass Form (for Unocccupied Properties) (PDF Document, 317.43 Kb)
What Do You Have To Do Next?
Route 1 - GREEN Match Households – CCA Form Received
If we have your email address or mobile number on record, we will initially contact you by email and/or by text message (SMS) to confirm your household details, instead of posting you a form. The email will be sent using the official GOV.UK Notify service.
The email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org. The text message (SMS) will come from OWBCouncil. This is a genuine and legitimate communication from the Council and should not be treated as spam. An example of an e-mail and text message (SMS) is below.
You can respond to this request online by using the security codes provided. If you do not respond to this request, you will receive a paper form.
If we don't have your email address or phone number or you don't respond to our initial contact, you will receive a CCA paper form through the post.
If all the information on your CCA is correct, then there is no need to respond to this form.
HOWEVER, if some or all of the information on the form is wrong, you MUST respond to the form and provide us with the most up-to-date information about your household.
You can inform us of the changes by responding to the form and providing your security codes in the following ways:
- By visiting www.householdresponse.com/oadby-wigston
- By calling 0800 197 9871
- By posting this form back to the address on the front of the form
If we do not receive a response from you, we will assume that all the information is correct at the address and will make no further attempts to contact you.
Route 2 - RED Match Households – CF Form Received:
If you receive a Canvass Form (CF) you MUST respond, even if you have no changes to make. If you do not respond, you may be fined up to £1,000.
You will not initially receive an email or text as you must receive a paper Canvass Form (CF) first as we believe some of your information is incorrect and you may have changes to make.
You must respond to the form by providing your security codes in the following ways:
- By visiting www.householdresponse.com/oadby-wigston
- By ringing the automated freephone line on 0800 197 9871 (for no changes only)
- By texting "NO CHANGE" followed by your security codes with a space in between part 1 and part 2 to 80212 (standard charges apply) for no changes only
- You can also post the form back to us, using the return envelope supplied.
If we do not receive a response, we will make further attempts to get a response from you. This may be by reminder forms, by telephone, by e-mail or by text message (SMS), or a visit to your property. Any email will come from email@example.com. Any text message (SMS) will come from OWBCouncil. This is a genuine and legitimate communication from the Council and should not be treated as spam.
Canvass Communication Response Summary
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.||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.||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.||
I’ve received a text/email from Electoral Services, I’ve never received one before. Is this correct or is it a scam?
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 OWBCouncil.
Both will direct you to the following website: - www.householdresponse.com/oadby-wigston
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 on (0116) 288 8961 or visit the website at https://www.oadby-wigston.gov.uk/ for further information.
My partner/housemate received a text/email telling them to check the registration for this address, but I didn’t receive one, why is this?
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.
I added my name to a canvass form. Does this mean I am now registered?
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 https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. We will send each person an Invitation to Register (ITR) form if they do not apply online.
I have moved to a new house recently. What should I do?
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.
I’ve received a paper canvass form through the post and I’m not sure what I need to do. All the information is correct, so do I need to send it back?
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.
I've received a form for my second home. What do I need to do?
If you are a second homeowner and no one else lives your second address, you are responsible for responding to the forms we send, if there are changes to be made to the property details. If you split your time between your two properties, you are entitled to be registered to vote at both addresses. You can only vote from one location in national elections. If you would like to be registered at your second property and your name is not already included on the CF, please add your details by visiting www.householdresponse.com/oadby-wigston.Then visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote to register to vote online. If you are unable to use one of the automated services, please complete the paper CF. Add and confirm your details if you do want to be registered, or ticking the relevant box in Section 4 if you don’t want to be registered at your second address. Please then complete the Declaration in Section 5 before sending the form back in the return envelope addressed to Electoral Reform Services, London.
We are Foreign Nationals and not able to register, therefore our form is blank. There is no one eligible to register for this address, so do I have to send it back?
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.
I’m a student and I have received a form. Do I have to register in Oadby & Wigston and respond to this form?
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 Oadby & Wigston. 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.
How can I change my Open Register preference?
All registered voters are given the option to include or remove their details from the open register. This decision does not affect your right to vote.
If you would like to be included or removed from the open register, let us know when responding to the canvass. Alternatively you can contact us at email@example.com or (0116) 288 8961.
Should I add someone's name if they are under 18?
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 https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by waiting and completing an ITR when they receive it.
I am a landlord/Home Manager and I’ve received an email requesting information about my residents, is this correct as it’s never happened before?
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 at either firstname.lastname@example.org or (0116) 288 8961.
What should I do if I have made a mistake when responding to the canvass communication?
If you have responded to a canvass communication and realise that you made a mistake, please contact us by emailing email@example.com or phoning (0116) 288 8961 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.
Someone at the address does not have the mental capacity to register to vote. What do I need to do?
On a paper form, the applicant must make the declaration by signing or making their usual mark. On an online application, the applicant must confirm that the information is correct. Alternatively, a person who has an appropriate power of attorney may make the declaration on behalf of the applicant.
While electors with any level or no level of mental capacity may be registered to vote, the decision as to whether and how to vote at an election must be made by the elector themselves and not by any other person on their behalf. Those who care for or who otherwise make decisions on behalf of a person may not make decisions on voting.
The application requires the person who is applying to declare that the information provided is true (a ‘declaration of truth’).
If somebody in your household lacks the mental capacity to register themselves to vote, the individual with power of attorney (POA) will need to decide how to proceed when responding to the Canvass Form (CF). If the POA wants the person to be registered to vote, they must add the person’s details to the CF (as well as making any other necessary changes to the form) by going online to www.householdresponse.com/oadby-wigston.* If the person’s name is already included on the CF and all their details are correct, then no amendments need to be made to their entry. Or, the POA can decide not to add the person’s name to the CF. Where the person’s details are already included on the CF, they don't have to be removed, as we cannot remove pre-existing voters on the grounds of mental capacity. If the POA cannot access the online CF response service, they can complete the paper form. Please remember to sign the Declaration in Section 5. Send it back in the return envelope addressed to Electoral Registration Officer, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 2DR.
* The POA will then need to register the person to vote at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. If the person is not registered to vote online, an Invitation To Register (ITR) form will be posted out to them. The POA will need to fill out and sign on the person’s behalf if they are unable to sign it/make their mark themselves. If the POA signs the ITR, we may request to see a certified copy of their Power of Attorney form with the completed ITR. Please note that only the person themselves or the POA can make the declaration as part of the person’s application to register to vote.
I would be at risk if I was included on the electoral register. What should I do?
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 Registration Officer, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, Council Offices, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 2DR.
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.
What is in an Invitation To Register (ITR) form?
An Invitation To Register (ITR) form is sent out to anybody whose details have been added to the Canvass Form but who haven’t registered to vote online.Once we are notified by you that a new person is living at the property and they are eligible to register, we will send them an ITR to collect any further information required to complete the voter registration process. People who receive an ITR can complete their voter registration online at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or by filling out and returning their ITR.
We cannot add people to the electoral register from the Canvass Form.
You must do so by providing relevant information, including your date of birth and National Insurance number. This can be checked against records held by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to verify their identity. If you do not go online to register through the government website, or complete and return an ITR that is sent to you, we will not be able to add you to the electoral register and you will not be able to vote. Please note that registering online or returning an ITR does not guarantee that we will be able to add you to the register of electors immediately. If the details you submit when registering do not match those held by DWP, we will contact you to request further information so we can confirm your identity and verify your electoral registration.
Last updated: Monday, 25 July 2022 1:48 pm