Annual canvass

To make sure we hold correct and accurate details on our Electoral Register we are required to undertake an Annual Canvass of all households in the district.

In July 2019, every household was sent a Household Enquiry Form (HEF). The form was addressed to the occupier and contained details of all those in the household who are registered to vote. The form requested that someone living at the address confirm that the details on the form were still correct, or that up-to-date information about anyone eligible to vote living at the property be provided.

If we did not receive a response from your household by 15 August, you will receive a reminder form early in September.

You must reply to this form in order to remain on the Electoral Register.

The easiest way to respond is:

  • by confirming your details online. You will need the security codes from the form.
  • If you have difficulty with the website address given on the form, go to the Household Response service homepage and scroll down the alphabetical list, selecting 'Cherwell District Council & South Northamptonshire Council'. You will then see a 'start now' button

Alternatively, you can respond by:

  • Texting the automated service (you will need the security codes - text charges may apply)
  • Call the automated telephone number (you will need the security codes)
  • Post your signed form back in the pre-paid envelope

It is a legal requirement that households respond to this form, even if the information on it is still correct. Please do not assume that because you were registered last year, your name will automatically be included in this year's Electoral Register. Being on the Council Tax register does not automatically mean you are on the register of electors.

Registering to vote is quick and simple. It will mean that you have the right to vote at elections, and being registered could improve your credit rating.

Whether you choose to use your vote or not is your own personal choice, however if you don't respond to the annual canvass or if you provide false information, you may be liable to a fine of £1000

You need to be included on the form if you are:

  • 16 years old or over. We ask 16 and 17 year olds to register so that they are eligible to vote as soon as they turn 18
  • A British, Irish, European Union or qualifying Commonwealth citizen

If you inform us that new electors are living at the property, we will send each person an Invitation to Register letter, asking them to register to vote, although this can also be done via the Government website

If we do not receive a response to the initial form we sent in July and the reminder in September, a canvasser from the Council will visit your property in person to gain the required information. Canvassers will always carry identification - please ask to see their identification details before speaking to them. To avoid a canvasser visiting please respond to the reminder form by 14 October.

Frequently Asked Questions

What information do I need to provide?

If your details are correct, you simply need to confirm this via one of the methods mentioned above. If you need to add or remove electors, or make changes, you can do this via the online response service.

Why do I need to respond to the canvass?

It is a legal requirement to provide accurate information for the electoral register. If you do not respond to the annual canvass, you may be removed from the electoral register and unable to vote in elections. You may also have difficulty in obtaining credit, because credit reference agencies are legally entitled to use information on the electoral register to carry out their own checks, which could impact on applications for mortgages, credit cards, mobile phones etc.

If you consider that you may be at risk of harm because your name is shown on the electoral register, there may be other registration options. Information is available from the Electoral Commission. Please contact the Democratic and Elections team if you wish to register in this way, or for further information.

I received a form last year, why do I need to complete another one?

We are required to carry out an annual canvass by law each year, to ensure that the register of electors remains accurate and up-to-date.

Who is eligible to vote?

Anyone who is:

  • Aged 16 or over (a person may register at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
  • A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK, or does not require such leave
  • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state

I live in two locations, where do I register?

You can register to vote in more than one location, provided that you usually reside at the property, eg you are a student with a home and term time address. You can only vote once in any election.

Contact your local electoral office

If you have any queries regarding the annual canvass you can contact us on 01327 322128