Register to vote in elections and the annual canvass

Annual canvass – July to November 2021

What is the annual canvass?

The annual canvass happens each year to ensure the electoral register is up to date and includes all those who are eligible to vote. You need to be registered to be able to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible. The electoral register is also used by credit reference agencies, so it is important that you are correctly registered at the property where you currently live.

How it works

All local authorities are required to data match their current registers with the records held by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and to conduct local data matching where possible. We recently conducted the national data matching exercise with the DWP and matched our data with Council Tax records. The results showed that 75% of all households in Central Bedfordshire have matched.

Properties that match 100% with the DWP and who have an email will be sent an email in early July asking them to confirm that all the information is the same. 

The email will be sent on 13 July 2021 from centralbedfordshire@householdresponse.co.uk (this is a no reply email) and will include information on how to respond.

In August, all remaining households will receive a letter identifying who is currently registered at the property.

If your letter begins with “Is the electoral register information correct for this address?”

✅  Information correct

If the information is correct, do nothing. No response means that the information we hold on the electoral register is correct.

❌  Information incorrect

If the information isn’t correct, you need to let us know. The letter tells how you can do this online, and gives you security codes, unique to your household, which you need to use.

Please note

If you’ve added a new person at your address, this person must then register to vote. Adding their name to canvass communication does not automatically register them to vote.

If you need any help, please contact us:

Telephone: 0300 300 8008
Emailelectoral.registration@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

View a PDF version of the first letter

If your letter begins with “You must respond so we can check who is eligible to register to vote”

You’ll get this letter if we can’t match everyone in your household (either individually or together).

✅  Information correct

If the information is correct, you need to confirm this. The letter tells how you can do this online, and gives you security codes, unique to your household, which you need to use.

❌  Information incorrect

f the information isn’t correct, you need to let us know. The letter tells how you can do this online, and gives you security codes, unique to your household, which you need to use.

Why the information may not be correct

The information may not be correct because you:

  • recently moved house
  • recently changed your name
  • are not registered at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • are not registered for Council Tax
  • have a different name format from the name on file, such as initials instead of your full name

Please note

If you’ve added a new person at your address, this person must then register to vote. Adding their name to the canvass communication does not automatically register them to vote.

If you need any help, please contact us:

Telephone: 0300 300 8008
Emailelectoral.registration@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

View a PDF version of the second letter

If you don’t respond to this letter in August

We will post you a canvass form, with a pre-paid postage envelope, for you to complete and return. If you do not respond to this, we are required to conduct a personal canvass; this could be a phone call or a visit to your home.

Due to COVID-19 and to protect our officers we may not visit your property until it is safe to do so

What next?

If you’ve added a new person at your address, this person must then register to vote.

Adding their name does not automatically register them to vote

After you register online, your identity will be checked with the Department for Work and Pensions’ records. If these don’t match, we will require further evidence of your identity (such as a copy of your passport).

Please note, paying Council Tax does not automatically add you to the electoral register.

We plan to publish our revised register on 1 December 2021.

Visit the Electoral Commission’s website for more information. You can also find out more about the amendments to government legislation and changes to the regulations.