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Annual Canvass for the Register of Electors

Each year the Electoral Services department sends a Household Enquiry Form to every household in our borough. Find out how you can respond to the form.

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The Household Enquiry Forms list the eligible electors currently registered at your address, along with any individuals registered as attaining the age of 18 during the next 12 months.

See the Frequently Asked Questions below, to find out how you can respond to the Household Enquiry Form you have been sent.

Register of Electors 2017

The annual canvass for the Register of Electors for 2018 started on Friday 7 July 2017 with emails being sent to approximately 19,500 properties which have been selected due to certain criteria and the availability of a contact email address. The email does not contain any Guildford logos although it has been signed by the Electoral Services manager. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact our helpline during normal office hours on 01483 444115 or email us via: electoralservices@guildford.gov.uk.

From early August 2017, Household Enquiry forms were sent to the remainder of residential households in the Guildford Borough Council area and those that failed to respond to the eCanvass.

Householders must respond as soon as possible to confirm or change their details using a secure internet provider. Alternatively, residents may complete and return the form. Telephone and text response will be available only to confirm no change.

Reminder forms will be sent from 31 August 2017 to households where no response has been received. However, it is inevitable that some will cross in the post.

By completing the registration process, you will ensure that you can vote in any elections that may occur in 2018.

If you have a query about who is eligible to register to vote, please contact our helpline during normal office hours on 01483 444115 or email us via: electoralservices@guildford.gov.uk.

Why should I respond?

The law says that you must respond to the annual electoral canvass.

If you do not register, it will not only affect your right to vote, it may also affect your ability to open a bank account, get credit, a loan or a mortgage as the full register is checked by authorised credit agencies.

Do not register only when you need a mortgage or finance. Due to prescribed processes and timings that we must observe by law, it can take several weeks before your entry is visible to credit agencies.

Don't delay. You can save time and expense to the taxpayer and avoid receiving reminders and personal visits by responding to the canvass form promptly after you have received it in late July.

The revised Register of Electors will be published by 1 December 2017 and you must respond no later than the 6 November 2017 to be included.

If you do not register during the canvass, you can still apply to have your name added to the register. Applications to amend the register are dealt with each month, apart from September, October and November.

Electoral and open versions of the register

There are two versions of the Register produced; the electoral register and the open register.

The electoral register is for use by political parties, candidates and their agents for election purposes; for law enforcement, the prevention and detection of crime, and for credit referencing purposes.

The open register is available for any purpose such as direct mailings and marketing. If you wish your name to be excluded from the open versions of the Register you can do so by marking the "opt out - open register" option on the registration form.

faq icon + 20528 What do I do with the Household Enquiry form that I have been sent?

Every property in our Borough has been sent a Household Enquiry Form (HEF), which must be responded to by a member of the household even if there are no changes to be made. The form lists all persons resident who are currently registered to vote at that address. Most forms will have the current information printed on. Read more >

faq icon + 20529 What do I need to do if I have made new additions to the form?

Once the Household Enquiry Form has been responded to, all new additions to the form who are eligible to register to vote need to complete the second stage of the process. Read more >

faq icon + 20531 Why do I have to complete this form again?

It is a legal requirement that households respond to the Household Enquiry Form each year. If you refuse to respond to the form, you may incur a fine. Whatever nationality residents are, and even if they do not qualify to be registered for voting, this must still be shown on the form and returned to us.

faq icon + 20532 What if I do not want to vote?

If I don't want to vote, do I still have to fill in the Household Enquiry Form? It is not a legal requirement to vote in the UK, but it is a requirement to respond to the Household Enquiry Form.

faq icon + 20533 I am unable to sign the form

If you're unable to sign the form, you can get a member of your family, a neighbour or a carer to help you complete the form. The person helping you to fill in the form may also sign the form for you, but they should indicate on the form who they are.

faq icon + 20534 I have tried to respond to the form by telephone or the internet but I am not sure if it has worked

If you're worried that we haven't received your response to the Household Enquiry Form, we can check this on the next working day. If your response has not been received, you can either try again or sign the form and send it back in the pre-paid envelope supplied.

faq icon + 20535 What should I do if I am moving shortly?

You should cross your names off the form and leave it for the new residents to complete. If you are moving within the Guildford area and there is not a form waiting for you at your new property, you should let us know and we will send one to you. If you are moving to another area, you will need to contact your new local authority to register.

faq icon + 20536 I have changed my name due to marriage or deed poll - what should I do?

You should amend the details on the form by crossing out the printed name and adding your amended name alongside. You should sign the form and return it in the pre-paid envelope supplied. We will then send you a change of name form requesting evidence such as a marriage certificate or deed poll certificate to allow us to verify the information. Read more >

faq icon + 20537 I have already responded by telephone or the internet, but now need to make some changes

You will need to enter the changes on the Household Enquiry Form, sign the form and return it in the pre-paid envelope supplied. This will overwrite the previous telephone or internet response. If you no longer have your form, please contact us, and we will send you a replacement.

faq icon + 20538 What should I do about a young person who is going to university?

A student can register at both their home address and their university/halls of residence address. They can vote in local elections at both addresses (as long as they are in different local government areas) but cannot vote at both addresses in a UK parliamentary election.

faq icon + 20539 My parent has moved into a residential home. What should I do with the form that has arrived at my parents' house?

If the residential home is now your parent's main address, your mother or father should be registered at the address of the residential home. Read more >

faq icon + 20540 The occupier of the house is deceased, what should I do?

You should write this information on the form and state what will be happening to the property (for sale or empty or due to be occupied). You should sign the form and return it using the pre-paid envelope supplied. Read more >

faq icon + 20541 What happens if I have dual nationality?

To register to vote, you must be a British, European Union or qualifying Commonwealth Citizen. If you have dual nationality, you will have greater voting rights as a British or Commonwealth Citizen than as a European Citizen, and you should register as such.

faq icon + 20542 What happens if I am not a British, Commonwealth or European Union Citizen?

You cannot register as an elector in this country but still need to return the Household Enquiry Form. If none of your household's residents are eligible to register because of their nationality, then they must complete section 4 of the form, giving details of their nationalities.

faq icon + 20543 What happens if it is my second home?

I have received a Household Enquiry Form to my second home. What should I do with the form? If you do not want to register to vote at this address, then you should cross any names off the form and complete section 4 of the form, indicating that the property is a second home.

faq icon + 20544 My child is 16 years old - do their details need to go on this form?

Young adults aged 16 and 17 should be included on the response.

faq icon + 20545 What do I do if I want a postal vote?

You can request an application form when responding to the form or contact us and we will send you a form. Read more >

faq icon + 20546 What do I have to do to cancel my postal vote?

You will need to cross through the word 'postal' on the form, sign the declaration and return the Household Enquiry Form to us. We will then send you a confirmation letter to confirm the cancellation of your postal vote.

faq icon + 20547 Why are there two different registers?

There are two versions of the register produced; the electoral register and the open register. Read more >