Register to vote in elections and the annual canvass

Annual canvass - August to November 2019

You need to be registered to be able to vote in any election or referendum for which you are eligible.

Central Bedfordshire Council are required by law to run an annual canvass to ensure the electoral register is up to date.

In August 2019, a household enquiry form (HEF) will be delivered to every property in Central Bedfordshire address to the occupier. If anyone is already registered at the address, they will be listed on the form.

If the details are correct, please confirm them by either:

  • phoning the number on the form
  • texting NOCHANGE, followed by part 1 and part 2 of your security code on the form
  • or signing the form and sending it back

If the details are incorrect, please use the web address www.householdresponse.com/centralbeds and your security code on the form to make any changes online. Alternatively, you can amend the form by crossing out those no longer living at the address and adding the names of all those eligible – including 16 and 17 year olds (do not include anyone under 16).

Students can register at their term time address and home address and can vote in local elections in both places but only once in a general election

Please remember that you must respond, whether there is a change or not.

If you have any concerns about completing the form then please contact us on electoral.registration@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or phone 0300 3008052.

Canvass period - 1 August to 3 November 2019

During the canvass period, we will:

  • deliver a form to all properties in Central Bedfordshire
  • deliver a reminder to properties who do not respond
  • send canvassers to properties to encourage residents to complete the forms - all canvassers will be wearing a Central Bedfordshire Council identity badge - this is usually in the evenings or at weekend to ensure that we can reach as many residents as possible
  • encourage people who have never registered or recently moved to register to vote at their current address
  • publish register on 1 December 2019

If you are adding your name to the HEF that is only step one. You now need to register. You can do this online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or alternatively we will send you a form (ITR – Invitation to Register) when we have received your HEF information . Until this has been processed you will not be registered and able to vote.

Please note – you must register each time you move. Paying council tax does not mean you are automatically added to the Register of Electors.

If your name is already correctly listed on the HEF you do not need to register again.

Concerns about a canvasser

If you are concerned about a canvasser, please email electoral.registration@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 8008 stating the area you live.

What happens next?

After you have responded, anyone not previously listed on the form must register. The quickest way to do this is on the GOV.UK - register to vote website, or we will send an Invitation to Register form as soon as we become aware of a potential new elector. You are required to complete and return this form by law.

Each time you change address you need to re-register. The easiest and quickest way to do this is online via the GOV.UK website. You can do this at any time.

Frequently asked questions

I have recently registered, do I still need to complete this form?

Yes – as this will confirm that your details haven’t changed to enable to you to be included on the new register which will be published on 1 December.

The form sent to my address has the names of people who do not live here - what should I do?

All forms contain the pre-printed details of electors who are currently registered at that address. If the people listed on the form no longer live there, you can update this information online or you can amend the form and return it to us.

I will be moving house soon - what should I do?

If you are moving house, and the property will be empty for a while, please cross out all the names printed, sign the form and return it to us. However, if there will be new people living in the property, please do not return the form. Instead, cross your names out and leave the form for the new occupiers to complete. A form should be waiting for you at your new property but, if not, contact your local electoral services office for one to be sent to you. You can get their contact details from About My Vote website. Email electoral.registration@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

No one in our house is eligible to register. Do I still need to send the form back?

Yes – if there is no one eligible to be registered at your address, please state this on the form and sign the declaration. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to register, please contact our helpline.0300 300 8008.

I have recently changed my name – what should I do?

If your name has changed, please amend your name when responding online or on the form provided. You will then be sent a change of name form and you will need to provide your previous and new name and the date of the change. You will also need to provide evidence to support the change of name, such as a marriage certificate or deed poll certificate.

I am concerned about my personal safety. Do I need to fill in this form?

You might be eligible to register to vote anonymously. Please contact us at 0300 300 8052 or email electoral.registration@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for more details.