Annual canvass - what you need to do
Here are some of the commonly asked questions about the canvass and what you should do.
We are required by law to complete a canvass of all properties in Uttlesford. This is to check that everyone who is eligible to vote is on the electoral register.
Instead of sending all households a form to return we now carry out a data matching exercise with the Department of Work and Pensions in June.
This year we have matched 77% of all householders. Households where we have matched all electors will get a communication from us. Where we hold an email (about 40% of households) we will communicate this way.
When we contact you, we may require a response, so make sure you read the information we send you carefully.
What to do if you receive a email
The annual canvass email we send will come from "email@example.com"
The email will look like this:
Who will get the email
We will only send you an email if we:
- believe your details have not changed, and
- have an email address for you, or someone else in your property
What you need to do
If you receive an email and your details are correct, you just need to respond to confirm this.
Anyone can respond on behalf of the whole household.
If the name or nationality of anyone who lives at your address are incorrect, you need to update these details.
We will not ask for any other personal information.
How to respond
To respond you can go online to confirm or update any details.
You can also respond by phone or text message, but this will only confirm that everything is correct.
Only one response is required per household.
You can respond online by going to the update service website on householdresponse.com.
Enter your unique security code
Part 1: ((CODE1))
Part 2: ((CODE2))
Update your household information and submit. Include the names and nationalities of everyone who lives at this address.
Freephone: 0800 197 9871
SMS: Text NOCHANGE followed by your security codes (part 1 and part 2) to 80212
If you do not reply
If you do not reply to the email after 14 days, we will send you a letter confirming your details .
What to do if you receive a letter
We send a reminder letter to anyone who has not responded to the canvass email. We also write to the 60% of the households where we do not hold an email address.
If you receive a letter, you need to read the instructions carefully, as you may need to respond.
If you receive a green letter
You do not need to reply, unless there is something to change. The letter will tell you if you need to make any changes and how you can give us the new information.
If you receive a yellow letter
You must reply, even if you have no changes to report. The letter will tell you how you can reply.
You do not need to send the letter back to us.
If you do not reply
If you do not respond, we will send you a reminder letter with a return envelope.
What to do if you receive a canvass form
We chase up anyone who has not responded with a canvass form.
If you receive a canvass form, you need to read the instructions carefully, as you must respond.
You can respond:
- by calling the 0800 197 9871 Freephone number - find out about call charges
- by posting the canvass form back to us with any amendments
What to do if you receive a phone call
If you received a letter or canvass form that needed a response but you have not replied, we will call you.
We will only call you if we have your telephone number on file.
We will only ask you to confirm the details that we already have for your address. If you need to tells us about a new person living at your address, we will only need their name.
If you miss our call you can call us back on 01799 510510
If you do not get back to us, we have to issue reminders and a member of staff may have to knock on your door.
What to do if we knock on your door
If we need a response from you and we haven't heard back, we have to send someone to visit your property to get a response.
We will start visiting properties from late September.
All of our staff carry ID and will not enter your house. They will just encourage you to make a return.
If you live in a nursing home or assisted living
We will not contact you directly if you live in:
- a nursing home
- some assisted living sites
However, if you are a new resident, you should look out for a letter asking you to register to vote.
Who can register to vote
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 years old or over (you can only vote when you are 18)
- a UK citizen
- a qualifying Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK
- an EU citizen resident in the UK
A qualifying Commonwealth citizen is someone who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or does not require such leave.
How to register to vote
If you are not already registered to vote at your address, responding to the canvass does not add you to the register.
If you want to vote in future elections you will need to make sure you are registered.
How to opt out of the open register
If you are registered to vote your details will be recorded on the electoral register.
There are 2 versions of the electoral register - the full version and the 'open register'
Everyone's name and address goes on the full version of the electoral register. The full version of the register is only used for:
- preventing and detecting crime
- checking applications for loans or credit
- jury summoning in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
You can opt out of the open register. This is the version of the register that's available to anyone who wants to buy a copy.
To opt out, contact the elections office.
Opting out does not affect your right to vote.