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Electoral Registration Annual Canvass 2020

What is the new canvass?

Each year, the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) has a legal requirement to conduct an annual canvass to ensure the electoral register is accurate and complete. The 2020 annual canvass has been reformed by the Cabinet Office. They have set new instructions for the ERO to follow and these instructions are set in law.

How does the new canvass work?

Step 1: Data Matching

  • The Electoral Register is sent securely to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) database to be matched with their records in June. Electors' names and addresses will be matched against National Insurance details and other information held by the DWP. In addition to this the ERO can use local data (e.g. Council Tax records) to carry out a local data matching exercise as well.
  • If all the people registered to vote at the property can be matched with either of these databases the property will be sent down the Route 1 canvass path.
  • If there are any people at a property that cannot be matched then the property will be sent down the Route 2 canvass path.
  • Care homes, nursing homes and all other properties that have a responsible person (e.g. a Duty Manager) will be sent down the Route 3 canvass path.

Step 2: Routes of Communication

Route 1

  • If we hold an email address/mobile number for you, we will send you an email/sms to ask you to confirm that the details we hold for the property are correct. If changes need to be made, you will be asked to do this.
  • Within the email/sms, there will be a web address to access your property details – www.elecreg.co.uk/copeland
  • You will receive two security codes in the email/sms. These are used to login to identify your property.
  • After logging in you will be able to confirm the details we hold for the property are correct or make changes to the details we hold for the property.
  • If we do not hold an email address/mobile number for you, or we do not receive a response from that email/sms, we will send the property a form, known as a Canvass Communication A, which will list the elector details we hold on record. If the elector details are correct you do not need to do anything more. If you need to add or remove someone from the property or make any other changes, go to the website address and use the security codes on the form to login and complete the change.

Route 2 

  • All properties allocated to this Route will in the first instance receive a form, known as a Canvass Communication B, through the post.   This form will have the elector details listed on it that we currently have registered. A blank form will be sent if no one is currently registered to vote at the property.
  • We must receive a response to this form even if there are no changes to report.
  • To confirm the details are correct or if you would like to add or remove someone from the property or make any other changes, go to www.elecreg.co.uk/copeland and use the security codes on the form to login and complete the change.
  • If you do not wish to respond online, and only wish to confirm the details are correct you can call 0808 284 1462 for the automated telephone response service or  text 07786 209 362 for the SMS response service. You will need your security codes, so please follow the instruction on the form.  You cannot make any changes using these two response channels. 
  • If you need to make a change and do not wish to respond online, you can post the form back to us. Please note that no return envelope will be provided with the initial form and we would encourage you to make changes online where possible.
  • Where no response to the CCB is received, you will receive a second form at a later date.  This form will be a Canvass Form, similar to the forms send during previious canvasses.
  • We must receive a response to this form even if there are no changes to report
  • To confirm the details are correct or if you would like to add or remove someone from the property or make any other changes, go to www.elecreg.co.uk/copeland and use the security codes on the form to login and complete the change.
  • If you do not wish to respond online, and only wish to confirm the details are correct you can call 0808 284 1462 for the automated telephone response service or  text 07786 209 362 for the SMS response service. You will need your security codes, so please follow the instruction on the form.  You cannot make any changes using these two response channels. 
  • If you need to make a change and do not wish to respond online, you can post the form back to us using the pre-paid envelope provided.   
  • If we do not receive a response to this form, we will make every attempt to get a response from you. This may be by means of an alternative form, email, sms or telephone communication or by sending a canvasser to visit your property*.

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

Route 3

  • Care Managers or Duty Managers will, in the first instance, be contacted by email asking them to confirm details of the electors registered at their establishment.   
  • If we do not receive a response within the specified timescales, we will make every attempt to get a response from you. This may be by sending reminder forms, by telephone or by a visit to the property*

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

Important Information 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will this year be outsourcing the scanning element of the annual canvas. This means that the address where paper responses should be sent is different to that of previous years. The address to use this year is: Copeland Borough Council Electoral Services, PO Box 9474, POOLE, BH12 9NF

Key Dates

  • The annual canvass will begin on July 1, 2020
  • Canvass emails for Route 1 properties will be sent from July 1, 2020
  • Route 2 initial forms will be despatched on July 13, 2020.
  • Route 1 forms will be despatched on August 17, 2020. Please Note: The data to produce the forms will be sent on August 3, 2020, so there could be some crossover
  • Route 2 – Canvass Forms will be despatched September 1, 2020
  • Route 3 canvass will begin on November 2, 2020
  • The revised register of electors is published by December 1 each year*

*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the revision of the register of electors can be delayed until February 1, 2021, if necessary.

Recently moved house?

If you have recently moved house and registered for Council Tax your details will not be entered onto the electoral register automatically. You have to make a separate application to register to vote for your details to appear on the electoral register. 

Registering to vote online is the quickest and easiest way.

New residents

Any person who should be registered to vote whose name does not appear on the form will need to make a separate application to register to vote to appear on the electoral register.

Registering to vote online is the quickest and easiest way.

If you cannot get online please complete the canvass form and we will send a paper application to register to vote when we receive a response back from you.

What could happen if you don't respond?

  • You will receive reminders via email, paper form, telephone or a door knock up until November 30
  • If you do not respond, we will either call you if we have your telephone number or a canvasser will visit your property* to collect the information
  • If you do not provide the requested information at all you could be fined up to £1,000
  • If you fail to respond you could lose your right to vote

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