Wealden District Council
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Annual Canvass

What is the annual canvass?

Each year the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) has a legal requirement to contact all households in the local authority to check that the data we hold on the electoral register is accurate. The Wealden annual canvass starts from mid-August. 

Following the annual canvass the Electoral register is re-published on 1 February 2024.

How will I be contacted?

Your household may be contacted in different ways, including:

  • Post
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Knocking on your door

Not all households are contacted at the same time during the canvass.

How do I respond?

A quick response will make sure the process runs smoothly and means that reminders do not have to be sent, and we do not need to visit you to get this information.

Your email or form will contain instructions on how to respond.

  • If you need to tell us about a change you can do so online through the household response(opens new window) website or by returning the form.
  • If all of the information is correct, you can confirm the information by text, phone, online or by returning the form.

It is quicker and easier to respond online on the household response(opens new window) website. This is a secure online site. You will need the two-part security code and your postcode provided on your email or form to submit a response. You will then have the opportunity to check the details for electors registered at your property and make any required changes before confirming your response.

If you receive a Canvass Form with a reply envelope, the return address is for the Council’s business partner, Civica Election Services, a long-standing and trusted contractor. Civica will process the forms securely before the forms are destroyed.

The address on the reply-paid envelope will be Civica Election Services, London, N81 1ER.

What happens next?

Once you have replied to the canvass communication, the changes will be made on the Electoral Register and the Register will be re-published on 1 February 2024.

Responding to the canvass form does not register you to vote. If you add anyone to a form they will be sent an email or a form with instructions on how to register to vote. Registering to vote is quicker and easier online at  www.gov.uk/register to vote You will need your national insurance number.

Frequently asked questions

You can register to vote if:

  • you are aged 16 years or over (although you will not be able to vote until you turn 18)
  • British, Irish or EU citizens, or
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK.

You can use the tools on the Electoral Commission: register to vote site to find out if you are eligible to register to vote. Scroll down to the ‘Answer some questions to find out if you can register to vote’ section on the Electoral Commission: register to vote page to find out.

You are entitled to vote as soon as you are 18 years old. Therefore, the date of birth of all 16 and 17 year olds should be included on the register.  It is important these dates are accurate as young voters can vote from the date of their 18th birthday.  If you are a young voter wishing to find out more about the voting process, the Electoral Commission has an excellent website with Resources for 14-18 year olds.

Students are often away at college or university and therefore have two homes; their term time lodgings and their actual home address. Because of this, students are able to register at both addresses if they wish to do so. However, they are obviously only allowed to vote once at an election and must decide in which area they wish to cast their vote.

As with all electors, young voters are encouraged to check the register to ensure they are shown, especially as it is most likely that someone else has completed the Household Enquiry form sent to the property. If they find their name is not included they can complete an Invitation to Register form, which is available from Electoral Services or the can register to vote online.

Being registered is important because it proves where they live which is something they will need to do if applying for a student loan, a bank account, a mobile phone – in fact anything to do with finance – being registered makes it easier.

When an election is called all electors are sent a polling card which tells them their electoral number, where the polling station is located and its opening hours and how to vote. However, the polling card is for information only – it is not necessary to show it in order to vote.  You must present photographic identification at the polling station otherwise you cannot be given a ballot paper.

Electors who are unable to attend the polling station in person can apply to have an Absent Vote and have two choices – they can either apply to vote by post or they can appoint someone to vote on their behalf (a proxy)

You will be contacted every year to find out if there have been any changes to who is 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. This means we can invite other residents, including any 16 and 17 year-olds, to register to vote if we need to.

Any new names provided on the form will be sent a form to register to vote. Registering to vote is quick and easy online at register to vote

Anyone crossed out on a canvass from will allow us to remove them from the electoral register at that address. In order to be removed from the electoral register we need two pieces of evidence so we might write to that person individually to check if they are registered. If no response is received they will be automatically deleted from the register after 14 days.

Anyone changing their name on the register will be contacted to confirm their change of name. The most common reasons for this is marriage. You may be contacted to ask for a copy of your marriage certificate or deed poll.

Your name on the electoral register should be the same as on any official documents so please include your full name including any middle names.

If anyone listed on the form is not living at your address, their name/s should be clearly crossed through.

You need to include the name and nationality of everyone aged 16 or over who is resident and eligible to register to vote. If there are no eligible residents, you should give a reason why e.g. business premises, second home.

You are invited to include your email address and phone number on the canvass form, but you do not have to. We will use this information only in connection with your registration, and it helps us to contact you if there is a problem.

You should complete and return the registration form or register online. The canvass communication is not a registration form, but instead provides us with information on who lives in your household. This means we can invite other residents, including any 16 or 17 year-olds, to register to vote if we need to.

The online service and data you provide is secure. It has been independently accredited, security tested and developed to meet the best practice guidelines for data security. Householdresponse.com is hosted by Civica Xpress who are accredited by the government. You can see their accreditation under operational security at gov.uk

Civica Xpress have a privacy notice explaining how your data is processed and kept secure.

Civica XPress – Privacy, Security and Copyright Statement

As a student you can register to vote at both your term time and home address. This means that you will be able to vote if an election is called at short notice. If you register to vote at home and term time address you are able to vote at local elections at both addresses. It is a serious offence to vote twice at a national election such as a Parliamentary General Election or a national referendum.

You can find more information on registering to vote if you are a student on the Electoral commission: Students

If you split your time equally between two homes, you may be able to register to vote at both addresses. For example you might live and work in two different places and split your time equally. You can only register to vote at each address if you split your time equally between both locations or you are a student.

An application to register at a second home is considered on a case by case basis and depends on the amount of time you spend at each address. You cannot register to vote at your second home if you are only resident occasionally and you should indicate that the property is your second home on the canvass communication before returning it. If you are registered to vote at two addresses, you are only allowed to vote once at a national election like a Parliamentary General Election.

See Electoral Commission: Voting and second homes for more information on registering to vote if you have a second home.

The format of a canvass communication is set by the Electoral Commission. It is addressed to The Occupier because anyone in the property can respond to the form on behalf of the household.

If you have a reason that prevents you from completing the canvass form or registering to vote please get in touch with Electoral Services in writing to Wealden District Council, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX or email elections@wealden.gov.uk so that we can best assist you.

Please contact us if you have any questions by phone on 01892 602417 or email elections@wealden.gov.uk