What is the annual canvass?

Between July and December each year, we conduct (by law) an annual canvass of the District in order to update the electoral register. This is to find out if there are any changes to the household so we can remove the details of people who no longer live there and invite new occupants to register individually.

You are not automatically registered just because you pay council tax. Being registered to vote means you will be able to vote in elections and referendums and have your say in the issues that matter to you. 

A revised version of the electoral register will be published on 1 December 2021.

Annual national data matching

In 2020, the way in which the annual canvass is undertaken, changed. The aim of canvass reform was to streamline the process to make it easier for residents, while still ensuring the completeness and accuracy of the electoral register. As part of this, we will be using data and email communication to make the process simpler.

As part of the annual mandatory national data step, the canvass process will start with an initial data matching exercise between national data (held by the Department for Work and Pensions) and some local data. From there, different correspondence will be sent to households where the data has 100% matched, and to those where there was no match (either a no match or partial match).

What happens if the data matches?

All individuals registered in these households who have a valid email address will be sent an email that requires a response. To check if the email is genuine, email elections@rother.gov.uk

Those households that do not respond, and those that contain registered electors without a valid email address, will be sent a paper form in August/September. This form only requires a response if there are changes to be made. Following this, no further communication is sent to the household.

What happens if there is no match?

The property will be sent a paper form which you must respond to, whether there are changes to make or not. You may be sent a reminder by email if we do not receive a response. We also need to know why a property has no eligible voters, for example, because the property is empty or is a second home.

Do I have to respond?

Please make sure that you respond to the email or paper form you receive as soon as you can. Under Section 23 of the Representation of the Peoples Regulations 2001 it is a legal requirement to provide the information requested and you can be fined up to £1,000 for not doing so. Responding early will also help us save money, as if you do not respond we are required to send a reminder form and make follow up contact by telephone or by a personal door to door canvasser. 

Responding to this year’s annual canvass

This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during the tail end of a challenging public health situation. We are working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing. Please consider responding online or by telephone wherever possible.

What do I need to do?

To respond to your email or paper form you need to make a note of your two part security code on the correspondence you receive.  The easiest way to respond is online where you will be asked to update your household information and submit.

If there are no changes to the details for your household, you can also respond by telephone by calling …

If you are unable to respond online or by telephone, alternatively you may complete the paper form and post it back to Electoral Services, Rother District Council, Town Hall, London Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN39 3JX.

Registering to vote

Please note that the forms are not electoral registration forms. Anyone added to the details pre-printed on the canvass form will also need to register individually online here.

Registering to vote means you have a right to vote in elections and can also improve your credit rating.  

More information about registering to vote

Key Dates

  • Tuesday 17 August 2021 – Emails will be sent to some residents.  Please follow the instructions in the email and respond online, using the security codes in the email.  The email will come from canvass@rother.gov.uk
  • Monday 16 August 2021 – Canvass forms will be sent to some residents in the post. Please read the instructions carefully and respond as soon as possible if asked to do so.
  • Monday 27 September 2021 – Households who have not responded by email will receive a letter (CCA or CCB) in the post.  Please read the instructions included carefully, and respond as soon as possible if asked to do so.
  • Monday 18 October 2021 – Additional emails, letters or a personal canvasser will be sent to households who previously received a canvass form but have not yet responded.

It is a legal requirement to provide information when asked to do so by the Electoral Registration Officer. 

If you have a query about the Annual Canvass this year please complete the Election form below.

More information about voting and registering can be found at www.electoralcommission.org.uk