Annual canvass

Annual canvass

Annual canvass of residents

By law, we must carry out an annual canvass of all residential properties to ensure we have the correct residents registered to vote (including any 16 or 17 year olds).  We do this by contacting all residential addresses in the city to ask if the details we hold are still accurate.

The information we receive is used to invite unregistered residents to register to vote and to remove the names of electors who are no longer living at their registered address.

Properties will be contacted in different phases, so not all addresses will receive something from us at the same time.  If you receive a request for information, please respond straightaway.  If we don’t receive a prompt response, we are required to send reminders and may also employ canvassers to visit your property, which costs the Council money.

Please note that your response may not automatically update information on the electoral register.  We will contact you if further action is required.

Where new names are provided, an invitation to register will be sent by post or emailed to those eligible to register to vote.  These names will not be included in the electoral register until the individuals have made successful applications to register to vote.  There is no need to wait for the invitation - any new residents who are eligible to vote should register to vote (GOV.UK) as soon as possible.

How we will contact you

This will depend on what details we have for your household.


If we hold an email address on record, you may receive an email from

If you no longer wish to be contacted by email please reply - ensure you include your name and address in the message.

If you have moved from the specified address please let us know your old and new address.

Paper form

A form may be delivered to your property (addressed to 'The Resident').

Personal visit

If we do not receive a response to a form and information is still required from your household, one of our electoral registration canvassers may visit your address to collect the required information. If there is no answer when they visit your address, they will leave either a form or one of our ‘Response Required’ calling cards.  Please respond as soon as possible.

Telephone call

If we do not receive a response to a form and we have a telephone number, one of our electoral registration canvassers may ring to collect the required information. If there is no answer they will leave a message if voicemail is available.  Please respond as soon as possible.

How to respond

This will depend on how you were contacted.

If you received an email

Use the security codes to respond online at

If you received a paper form

Use the security codes to respond:

  • Online at
  • By calling the automated freephone service on 0800 197 9871 (only if there are no changes to make)
  • By text/SMS (only if there are no changes to make): text 80212 with the message NO CHANGE, followed by your security codes*

*If nobody is eligible to vote please include the reason e.g. property is empty. business, second home etc.  Standard charges apply.

If you cannot use any of these options, complete and post the canvass form in the prepaid envelope we will provide.

REMEMBER: If you are asked to provide information please do this as soon as possible to avoid a canvasser calling at your household.


Frequently asked questions

Find the answers to common questions about the annual voter canvass.

Need more information?

Phone 0191 2787878 and ask for Electoral Services or email for further information.

Electoral Services Privacy Notice.

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