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Register and how to vote

Annual Canvass 2020

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 are set in law.

Stage 1

For those properties where we think there may not be any changes to the information we hold, we will email all residents in the property where they have provided us with an email address on 7 July. If the same email address has been used for more than one resident, then you will receive more than one email. Only one person within the household needs to respond to the email. You need to respond to this email to either confirm the information is correct or to advise us of any changes.

If a response is not received or we do not hold an email address for you, then a form will be sent to you by post at the beginning of August and you will only need to respond if the information has changed.

Act Now. Responding to the email will save the Council money.

The email will not request any information such as bank details so if you notice anything suspicious or something doesn't feel right, please do not respond.

Stage 2

For properties where we think the information we hold is not up to date, we will send a form for you to either confirm the information or advise us of any changes. It is important that you respond to this form to avoid further reminders being sent to you.

The form will be sent mid-July.

The communication you receive will explain the different ways to respond which are:

  • Visit the website to confirm the details or make changes
  • Enter your unique two-part security code as shown on the email or form you have been sent
  • Update or confirm your household information and submit

Or if there are no changes to the information:

  • Call 0800 197 9871 and when prompted enter part one and part two of your security code


  • Texting NOCHANGE followed by your security code to 80212 (if nobody is eligible to vote include a reason after your security code e.g. empty, business, second home, none, other)

If you are not able to use any of the above options, then you can phone us on 0300 456 0112 or return the form to us by post.

Who should register?

The electoral register is a list of people who are registered to vote. If you meet the requirements below please register.

  • 16 or over (you cannot vote until your 18th birthday)
  • British or Commonwealth citizen/citizen of the Irish Republic/citizen of another EU state

Citizens of EU member states cannot vote in UK Parliamentary elections and must fill in a separate form to vote in the European elections.

For details on registering as a service voter or overseas elector, please see the Electoral Commission.

Register to vote

How you can vote

You can vote in person, by post or ask someone to vote on your behalf (proxy vote). See the downloads and links section.

If you would like to cancel an existing postal or proxy voting arrangement, use the form in the downloads section.

If you are setting up or cancelling any current arrangements because of an election or referendum, please refer to our forthcoming elections or referendums web page as statutory deadline dates may apply.

In person at the polling station

If you are registered to vote, a poll card will be sent to you a few days before the election. Your card tells you where your polling station is and when it will be open. You do not need your poll card to vote although it will help the staff at the polling station if you bring it with you.

You will be allocated to a polling station. If you would like to find out where your usual polling station is, please contact the Electoral Services team on 0300 456 0112.

Please visit GOV.UK for more information about how to vote in person..

Frequently asked questions

Emergency Proxy Voting

You may be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote for employment or medical reasons. To qualify, you will have only been made aware of the circumstances after 5pm six working days before the polling day. You can apply from this time and up to 5pm on polling day itself.

To apply, you must be registered and your appointed proxy must meet the following criteria:

  • Registered to vote
  • Eligible to vote in this particular type of poll
  • Cannot act on behalf of more than two people at any one election, unless they are a close relative

To apply for an emergency proxy please contact the Electoral Services Team on 0300 456 0112 or download the emergency proxy application. If you are applying for a postal or proxy vote during an election timetable which is already running, specific deadline dates will apply.

The electoral register explained