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The annual electoral canvass
What is it?
Every year we have to write to all the properties on our database to send them a ‘housing enquiry form’ (known as an HEF). This is so that we can gather information to know who needs to be added to or removed from the register of electors. We usually do this in the autumn, so that we can publish our new register in December.
This isn't a registration form, merely an enquiry form that we need to send to each property to find out who's living there. Once we have that information from you, we can then send out an 'invitation to register' (known as an ITR) to each named person (if that person isn't already registered at that property).
What forms do I need to complete, and can I do it online?
You can complete both the HEF and the ITR online at the appropriate time, or use the paper forms that are sent out. Even if you complete an ITR, we still need the HEF to be completed (either online or in paper format), so that we know that everyone who's eligible to register receives their own personal invitations to do so. If you're not already registered to vote, you can do so online. You can also register your household online at the appropriate time, ie when the HEFs go out.
Why do I need to be on the register?
By law, your details need to be included on the register if:
- You're living at an address in our constituencies, and
- You're a British, Irish, European or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, and
- You're currently aged 16 or over (albeit that you must be 18 or over to vote)
Why do you need to know if I am over 76?
The form asks whether any of the occupants at the property are aged 76 or over. The Courts Service, which uses the register, sends out invitations to people to attend jury service. The upper age limit for people serving on juries is 75. We therefore need to ask people whether they're 76 or over, because from that age they would be ineligible.
We've produced a guidance document to assist with any queries on individual electoral registration and the annual canvass.