Annual canvass 2021
The annual canvass is a legal requirement designed to maintain the accuracy of the electoral register.
Each year we contact every household to check whether we have the correct people registered to vote and to ask you to tell us of any changes. This year, where we can, we will be using data and electronic communication, such as email and text messaging before sending a hard copy letter, to make the process simpler and more cost effective.
Our emails do contain a link to register your response but they are genuine and come from a recognised government domain firstname.lastname@example.org
This year's canvass is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working to ensure that we consider public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing. Please respond online, by telephone or texting wherever possible.
How to respond
Full details will be provided on the communication sent to you so please follow this carefully. The easiest way to respond is via the web. Please click below to register your response:
You must have your two security codes to register your response.
Alternatively, if there are no changes to the information on your canvass communication you can respond via:
- Freephone 0808 2841448 (for other languages 0808 2841449)
- SMS by texting your two security codes separated by a space to 07786 209348
Frequently asked questions
I have received an email about the canvass but it hasn't come from a Herefordshire Council email, is this genuine?
The email will come from email@example.com which is a recognised government domain. It will contain a link which you will need to click to start your response. It is safe to click the link in this email - it will simply direct you to the Official Household Information Response Website for Herefordshire Council
The email will also contain the Herefordshire Council logo and will be signed by the Electoral Services Manager. If you receive something different to this and you think it may not be genuine please contact the Electoral Services helpline for confirmation. We will never ask you to provide us with any bank details or any personal details other than what is required for the annual canvass or to register to vote.
Is the data I enter online secure?
Yes. The online registration service and the data you provide is secure. It has been independently accredited, tested for security and developed to meet best practice guidelines for data security.
Do I have to respond to the annual canvass, and if so, why?
Not all properties are required to respond if there are no changes. If you have received a form with a reference 'canvass communication A' and you have no changes to make, you do not need to respond to the form. If however you receive this form and do have changes make, then you must respond.
If you have received a form with a reference 'canvass communication B or canvass form' then you are required to respond, even if there are no changes to make. Additionally, if you receive an e-communication (email) from ourselves, you must also respond to the email, even if there are no changes to make. Failure to respond to either of the forms or the e-communication will result in a reminder being sent. The law says that you are required to respond to any e-communication (email) and any form that advises you that a response is required.
I am already registered or have just applied to register to vote, do I still need to register my annual canvass response?
Yes. The canvass communication asks for information about the household whereas the register to vote process is individual. So even though you are registered or have applied to register we still require confirmation that the information about your household is correct. If anyone else lives with you over the age of 16 we can invite them to register or if someone has vacated the property then we can make the necessary amendments.
Why do you need to send a canvass communication every year?
By law we have to do this each year in order to know who is eligible to register to vote at your address. The information you provide will allow us to amend any incorrect information such as removing anyone who has vacated the property and allow us to invite any new residents to register to vote.
There are no changes to the information on my canvass communication, do I still need to respond?
Full details and instructions will be provided on the communication sent to you. Some communications do not require a response but please read yours carefully and respond if asked to even if there are no changes to the information.
What happens if I don't respond to my annual canvass communication?
We are legally obliged to keep chasing you with reminders, followed eventually by a personal visit, which we are very keen to avoid, particularly because of coronavirus.
There are people listed on the canvass communication that don't live here, what do I do?
If anyone listed on the form is not living at your address, their name/s should be clearly crossed through on the form or you can remove their name using the web response.
Do I include the names of everyone who lives here?
You need to include the name and nationality of everyone aged 16 or over who is resident at the address and eligible to register to vote. If there are no eligible residents, you should state why this is the case.
Am I automatically registered to vote if I complete my canvass response?
No. The annual canvass is a household exercise. The communication to your household will show who is already registered to vote, so if you or anyone else over the age of 16 at your address are not listed then you are not currently registered. When completing a web response the system will give you the opportunity to register to vote as well if you need to.
I have recently registered to vote so why is my name not on the canvass communication?
If you registered to vote after 23 June 2021 your name will not show on the canvass communication. This is because we send our information to the printers two weeks before the forms can be posted. It is likely to be a crossover of information but please ring the Electoral Services helpline if you want confirmation.
Do I need to include my email address and phone number on the canvass form?
You are invited to include your email address and phone number on the canvass form, but you do not have to. We will use this information only in connection with your registration, and it helps us to contact you if there is a problem.
I have already returned a canvass communication, do I need to return the registration form I've received too?
Yes. The canvass communication is different to a registration form as it provides us with information on who lives in your household. The registration form is for you individually and once completed will enable you to officially register to vote. You should complete and return the registration form or register online.
My neighbour has received a canvass communication telling them they don't have to respond, so why does mine say I have to?
Before the annual canvass begins, every property has to be matched against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) database to determine the accuracy of the household information we already hold. Properties may receive different instructions on their communication based on their match status, so please read yours very carefully and respond if required.
I have already responded to my canvass communication but have since received a reminder, do I need to complete this as well?
Not necessarily. If you have received a reminder within a week of completing your response, it is likely that the information has simply crossed over. We have to send our list of reminders to the printer a week before they go out in the post so this in unavoidable and a small number of people will receive an unnecessary reminder. If you would like to check that we have successfully received your response, please ring the Electoral Services helpline.
If you have any further questions or any concerns please contact the Electoral Services office using the information below.
Electoral services contact details
Our opening times are: Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.15pm, Friday 8.45am to 4.45pmAddress: Electoral Services, Town Hall, St Owen St, Hereford HR1 2PJ