Annual canvass - keeping the electoral register up to date
Every year, we are required by law to contact every property in the borough to check that the information in the electoral register is accurate and complete. This is called the annual canvass.
This usually takes place between July and November every year, finishing with the publication of a revised version of the electoral register.
How does it work?
The way we conduct the annual canvass changed in 2020, following new legislation.
Although we still contact every property, we now use national and local data-matching to help us focus on households where there is most likely to have been an unreported change in residency in the last 12 months.
We will send our communications by email and by letter, usually in July and August. Please read these carefully to see if you need to respond.
If we think the information on the electoral register is accurate, you won’t be chased to respond unless you need to report a mistake or a change.
If we think the information on the electoral register is not accurate, you must respond so that we can update our records. If you don’t respond, you will receive a reminder and could receive a personal visit from one of our electoral registration canvassers.
How do I respond?
The easiest way to respond to the annual canvass is online, using our Household Response Service. It takes just a few minutes, and you’ll need the security codes from your email or letter. Respond to the annual canvass form online (householdresponse.com)
If you have no changes to report, you can also use the SMS and freephone automated services:
- Text ‘nochanges’ and your security codes to 80212. (Charges may apply)
- Call 0800 197 9871
If you’re not sure what to do, or you need assistance, contact Electoral Services using the contact details in this page.
Following up changes
If you make any changes to the information on the electoral register, we may need to follow up for more information.
This is because the annual canvass is conducted on a household basis, and some changes, such as the following require signed approval from the individual:
Most importantly, if you add someone new to your property, we must send them an invitation to register by email or by letter. This is because you must provide your National Insurance number and date of birth as a security check before you can be added to the register. This can be done online at any time at register to vote (GOV.UK).
Frequently asked questions about the annual canvass
Nothing has changed, but I’m required to respond - why?
By law, we must conduct an annual canvass every year, even if nothing has changed. The system is still relatively new, and it might not be able to spot where no changes have taken place with 100% accuracy from the data match alone. We use a combination of national and local data to help us figure out which properties we need to chase for a response.
I’ve lived here for years – why haven’t I matched?
Don’t worry – you’ve not done anything wrong. When we conduct our data matching at the start of the annual canvass, every person in your household must match against either national or local records for us to consider the register ‘accurate’. If someone in your property is under 18 or is not liable for council tax, this might be why they haven’t matched.
I’ve received an email, but it looks like a scam – what should I do?
It is important to be vigilant, so if you think you have received a scam or ‘phishing’ email, do not click on any links. You can use the alternative methods of responding above or wait to receive a letter. If you would still like to use the online service to respond, you can visit the annual canvass form online (householdresponse.com) or type www.householdresponse.com/hinckley into your browser.
Why can’t I return the form in the post?
The online, text and freephone services are more cost-and-time-efficient, and better for the environment. If you need help with responding, you can also contact Electoral Services using the contact details at the bottom of this page. If you are required to respond but you cannot use any of the automatic services available, a reminder will be sent out with a prepaid envelope in a few weeks.
Last updated: 05/07/2023 16:13