The annual canvass

Find out about the annual canvass and how to respond.

Every year, the elections office is required by law to confirm whether the details we hold on the electoral register for every household are correct. This is known as the annual canvass.

You will receive an email or letter from us with instructions on how to check and confirm your details and submit your return. 

You can see our example email and example letters to make sure you have been sent the correct one. 

Completing the canvass online

By completing the annual canvass online, you are helping to save time and money. It just takes a few minutes to complete online.

There are four steps to completing online:

  1. Visit the Household Response website.
  2. Enter your postcode and unique security codes - part one and part two. These can be found on the email or letter we sent you.
  3. Check and update your household information.
  4. Submit.

Complete the canvass online

Completing the canvass on paper

You may have been sent a paper version of the form. If this is the case, you must follow the details on how to respond shown on the communication. 

Who should complete the registration? 

We only need one response per household. 

You need to respond if:

  • you receive an email
  • you receive a salmon A4 form 
  • you receive a white A4 form and there is a change to report

If we have already had a response for your property, you will see a notification on the Household Response website.

If you own the property and it is currently empty, we still need to hear from you. Please complete the return.

Who should I list? 

You should include the names and nationalities of everyone who is eligible to vote, aged 16 or over, and lives at the address. 

Check who can register to vote

To be eligible to register to vote, a person must be:

  • aged 16 or over - a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18
  • a British citizen
  • an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission

You normally only need to register once - not for every election. You will need to register again if you have changed your name, address or nationality. 

Visit the government website for more information.

Information for particular groups

First time registrants

If you add new names to this form, it does not automatically register them to vote. 

They will need to go to the government website and complete the online registration. A paper form is available by request. 

Aged between 16 and 18

Everyone who is aged 16 or over is eligible to register to vote, but you will not be able to make your vote until you are 18.

You will need to go to the government website and complete the online registration. A paper form is available by request. 

Residents of care homes, nursing homes and looked after properties

We will approach the responsible person and ask them to check and confirm the details and submit the return on behalf of all the eligible residents living in the property.  

A responsible person is defined as anyone who lawfully holds or has access to and may lawfully disclose information to the electoral registration officer in respect of each person who lives at a property and is eligible to be registered.

Need help completing your return? 

If you need help completing your return, please contact us.

Forgotten to respond? 

We will send you reminders by email or post.

If we still have not received the information, an electoral canvasser will either call you, if we have your telephone number, or visit your house and knock on your door to collect the information we require in person. 

Data protection

We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the data protection legislation. We will not give personal information about you or any personal information you may provide on other people to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law.


The Representation of the People Act 1983 places a duty on electoral registration officers to maintain the electoral register for their area and to conduct an annual canvass of all residential properties. 

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other reasons as specified in law, such as detecting crime - for example, fraud - calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.

Further information

For any further information on the annual canvass, please contact us.

Examples of the emails and letters we send


If you receive an email, it will be sent to you from " AT". 

It will look like this:

An example of the email someone could be sent about the annual canvass.


If you are sent a letter, it will look like one of these examples. The letter that is sent to you will replace the areas shown in red with your details.

If someone in your household is registered to vote

If members of your household are already registered, you could be sent a letter that looks like this example:

An example of one of the letters you could be sent for the annual canvass with names of people already registered at your home.

If nobody in your household is registered to vote

If there is nobody in your household currently registered to vote, you could be sent a letter that looks like this example:

An example of the letter you could be sent for the annual canvass if nobody is currently registered at your home.