Annual Electoral Canvass
Completing your Household Enquiry form
Every year we undertake a canvass of all households to ensure that the information on the electoral register is up to date. There is a legal requirement for residents to confirm details relating to their property.
Annual Canvass 2023
This year's canvass will take place from August to November 2023, in readiness for publication of the revised electoral register on 1 December 2023.
Look out for your form or email
During the annual canvass, we will contact all properties in West Berkshire, either by posting a form, or by email. The form will be addressed to 'The Occupier' but anyone in the household can respond.
If you need to update your details on the electoral register, it is important that you respond as soon as you can. This means reminders don't have to be sent.
If you receive a form:
If we send you a letter by post, you should read it carefully. The letter will tell you whether you need to respond or not. If you need to respond, please use one of the methods offered in the letter, as pre-paid envelopes are no longer automatically enclosed.
If you receive an email:
If you recieve an email from us at the end of August, it is genuine.
Whether there are changes to be made or not, please ensure you click on the link in the email to respond. This means we will not have to send a form to your property, or send a canvasser to collect the information.
By using email services and working with the Civica Election Services (who help us deal with postal, online and telephone responses), we save time and money.
Households that do not respond, but are required to do so, may be contacted by telephone. We will only attempt to speak to a registered elector within your household. Our staff will ask you a series of questions which will enable us to update your household information. However, if you wish, you will be advised that you can complete the Canvass Form that we sent to your household and return it by post.
During the canvass period, you can also respond online using the details on the form on the household response website, here. You will need to use the security codes given on the form to respond online.
You can also contact us directly on 01635 519464. It is very important you confirm the details of your household by 30 November 2023 in order that you appear on the published register on 1 December 2023.
Any new electors can register to vote on the GOV.UK website. This must be done by 20 November 2023 in order that they appear on the published register on 1 December.
What is the purpose of the annual canvass?
The aim of the annual canvass is to ensure that the electoral register is up to date and to identify any residents who are not registered to vote, so that they can be encouraged to do so.
The annual canvass allows residents to inform our electoral services team about:
- people who live at a property and should be registered to vote
- people who are no longer living at a property
- new residents at an address
- people who will become 18 in the following year
- any corrections or changes to residents' details
It is particularly important that anyone who has moved address recently looks out for the form, or email, and checks whether they are registered.
After you've told us about any changes
Once your household has been updated, any new or additional residents over the age of 16 must register to vote individually. Responding to the canvass does not mean you are registered to vote. You are not automatically registered, even if you pay the council tax for your home.
- go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details - you'll also need your National Insurance number, which you can find on your National Insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax
- look out for a confirmation letter from your local electoral Services Office that says you're registered
If you aren't able to go online, we'll send you a paper form (an 'Invitation to Register') later in the process.
Why you should register
If you are not registered, you will not be able to vote at the time of an election. The electoral register is also used to confirm an individual's address, especially if they are applying for credit such as a mortgage, personal loan or even a mobile phone.
Who can be included on the register?
You need to be included on the electoral register if you are:
- aged 18 or over
- a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen (see a list of eligible nationalities)
- a 16, or 17 year old (you will not be able to vote until you turn 18)