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Annual canvass for the register of electors

What is the new canvass?

Every year we need to carry out an annual canvass to make sure the Electoral Register is correct. In 2020 the annual canvass changed under The Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019.

How does the new canvass work?

Step 1:  Data matching

The Electoral Register is securely sent to the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP). The DWP check names and addresses from the register against National Insurance details. Local data (e.g. council tax records) can be used as a matching exercise too.

What should I do?

  • if all the registered people at a property match with DWP or local data, go to Route 1 canvass
  • if there are any people at a property that don't match, the property will go to Route 2 canvass
  • properties that have a duty manager - eg care homes and nursing homes - will go to Route 3 canvass

Step 2: Routes of communication

Route 1

  • if we hold an email address for you, we will send you an email to ask you to confirm that our details are correct.  If you need to make a change you will be able to do this as well
  • in the email there will be a web address to access your property details - Select Guildford in the list of councils
  • you will receive two security codes in the email used to identify your property
  • responding to this email will save the council and taxpayers money
  • after logging in you will be able to confirm or change the details we hold for that property
  • if we don't have an email address for you, or we don't receive a response from our email, we will send a form to your property. If the elector details on the form are correct, you don't need to do anything. You can add or remove someone from your property. Go to the website address and use the security codes on the form to log in and complete that change
  • if you have no changes, you can also respond by calling 0808 284 1520 for the automated telephone service

Route 2

  • we will post a form to the property. The form will have elector details listed on it if we are aware of registered electors. We will send a blank form if we have no-one registered to vote at the property
  • we need a response from this form even if there are no changes to report
  • you can add or remove someone's name from the property. Go to the website address on the form and use the security codes to log in and complete that change
  • if you have no changes, you can also respond online at Or you can call 0808 284 1520 for the automated telephone service. You can post the form to Electoral Registration Officer, Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Guildford, GU2 4BB
  • if we do not receive a response, we will make every attempt to get a response from you. This may be via reminder forms, calling you or a visit to your property. Responding as soon as possible will save the council and taxpayers money

Route 3

  • we will make contact with the care home managers or duty managers. We will send a letter with a list of those registered at the address.

ITR (invitation to register) forms

We will send you an invitation to register (ITR) form to complete if you need to register. This form helps us to confirm a person's identity so we can add them to the electoral register.

You can help us save money by registering online as soon as possible. You can register via the register to vote link. 

This is the quickest and safest way to send us your personal information.

We will send a reminder to anyone who does not respond to an ITR form. If you have not registered, a canvasser might visit your home to collect your information.

Your personal information

We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We look after personal information securely and follow the Data Protection Act 2018.  We will not give your personal information to anyone else, unless we must by law.

View our privacy statement