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The Electoral Registration Officer has a legal duty to make sure the details held on the Register of Electors are up to date and accurate. This is done by sending a communication to every household within the Borough. The annual canvass takes place from August through to November each year.

Canvas Reform 2020

Cabinet Office have reformed the way in which the canvass is carried out, please read Detailed Policy Statement from the Cabinet Office explaining how and why the annual canvass has changed.

These changes mean that not all households will receive the same communication, we may contact you by:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Post
  • Telephone

Households can respond to communications by:

Visiting and enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code.  This service can be used to make changes to the details we hold on the Register of Electors, or to confirm that the information we hold is still correct.

Where there is no change to the information, residents can use the automated telephone response service 0800 197 9871.  When prompted enter part 1 and part 2 of your security code


Text NO CHANGE with your security codes to 80212.  Please note your network provider may make an additional charge to your normal standard text rate for use of this service.  Security codes will be included in the communication you receive.

New residents

The canvass communication is an enquiry form only and response does not automatically add you to the register.  You can register online at  You will need your date of birth and national insurance number to complete the registration. 

We can also send out a personalised registration form, or alternatively you can contact the Electoral Services team on 01384 814740 where someone will complete the registration on your behalf.

Two registers

Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

The electoral register

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used 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
  • Checking credit applications

The open register

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

Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.