Annual canvass

Each year the Electoral Registration Officer is required to undertake an annual canvass of all households in the district to ensure the electoral register is accurate and complete.  

In previous years, each property was sent a Household Enquiry Form to complete and return.  This year, following recent legislative reform, the process has changed.  

How does the new canvass work?

The electoral register was sent securely to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to be matched against their records in June. During the data matching process, electors’ names and addresses were matched against details held by the DWP.

If all the registered people at a property can be matched with the DWP, you can view a sample canvass form your property will receive.

If there are any people at a property that cannot be matched, you can view this sample canvass form your property will receive.

Please read the form carefully to determine where there is a requirement for you to respond.

E-mail forms

In July and August, if we already have your e-mail address, you’ll receive your form by e-mail. This will be sent from tandridge.elections@notifications.service.gov.uk.

If we have an e-mail address for more than one person in the property, each individual person will receive an e-mail. Only one response per household is required.

The e-mail will ask you:

This e-mail is a genuine request, but if you are unsure please contact customer services.

Paper canvass forms

If we do not receive a response to our initial correspondence, a paper canvass form will be sent to you in September.

The form will be addressed to ‘The Resident’ and will contain the details of all those in the household who are registered to vote. Where a property has no registered electors, the form will be blank.

How do I respond?

Check the information in the form to see if you need to respond. Then respond using one of these options:

It is quicker and cheaper if you respond to the form electronically. You'll need the security codes (printed on the front page of your form) if you respond online or by phone.

If you are unable to respond online or by phone, please complete the form and return it in the envelope provided.

What if I don’t respond?

Some forms do not require a response. If you do not respond to the initial form and are required to do so, you may receive a reminder text message or e-mail. Please check your form carefully to see if you need to respond.

If your form requires a response and we do not receive one, electoral canvassers will contact you. This will either be by telephone or, if we do not hold your contact details, by visiting your property with a form to encourage you to respond.

Please note that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we may not visit your property unless it is safe to do so.

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If you receive a canvass form, but your property is empty, a second home or a business premise, we still need you to respond.

Please go to section 4 (for populated forms) or section 2 (for blank forms) and tick the appropriate box, sign and return the form.

You still need to respond even if you think no one living in your property is eligible to register to vote because of their nationality.

Please go to section 4 (for populated forms) or section 2 (for blank forms) and tick the appropriate box to say 'none of the residents are eligible to vote because of their nationality'.

Changes you may need to tell us

These are the changes you can make on the canvass form:

We are very sorry for any distress this may have caused. To remove the entry of a deceased person from our register, we need to have received either a copy of the death certificate or a formal notification.

We receive a weekly report from the registrar of deaths in Surrey and through the Tell Us Once Service. Unfortunately, notification of a death may not be received in time for us to be able to stop a communication. We appreciate this can be distressing for relatives.

Please contact the elections office to check if we are aware of the death.

You will not be able to amend your nationality online. Please complete the online response without changing your nationality. After you have submitted your online response, please e-mail us with your:

  • Full name.
  • Full address.
  • Details of your previous and new nationality.
  • Proof of your change of nationality, for example a photocopy of your passport or naturalisation certificate.
  • If responding using the paper form, cross out your previous nationality and write your new nationality underneath.
  • If responding online, follow the instructions for removing or adding a person.
  • If responding on the paper form, cross out the name of the person who has moved away, or write the name of the person who has moved in (in the appropriate section).

Adding a person's name on the household enquiry response website, or to the canvass form, does not mean they will be added to the register of electors. All new people who are added to the canvass form will receive a form called an Invitation to Register (ITR). They need to complete and return the form to be added to the register.

If you provide the new person's e-mail address, we will e-mail the ITR form to them, otherwise, they will receive a paper form.

The ITR form will ask them for additional information, including their national insurance number and date of birth. Once received, they can respond to the ITR online at www.gov.uk/registertovote.

  • If responding online, follow the instructions to mark them as 76 or over.
  • If responding using the paper form, go to the Over 76? column, cross out the word 'no' and write 'yes' underneath.

We ask for this information because it is used by the courts when selecting people for jury service. Those aged 76 or over are exempt from being called.

  • If responding online, follow the instructions to type in your new name.
  • If responding via paper form, cross out your previous name(s) and write your new name(s) underneath.

After we receive and process your canvass form, we will send you a change of name form to complete and return with proof of your change of name (for example, a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, deed poll document or an amended birth certificate).

If you are listed as voting in person, but want to change to vote by post or proxy, please cross out in person and write by post or by proxy underneath. We will send you the relevant application form to complete and return to arrange postal or proxy voting.

If you are listed as voting by post or by proxy and want to change this to vote in person at your polling station, please cross out by post or by proxy write in person underneath. We will send you an absent voting cancellation request you must complete and return to cancel your postal or proxy vote.

Under the included on the open register column, it will say either yes or no.

If it says yes next to your name, it means your details are currently on the open register, which is available for purchase by any person, company or organisation.

If it says no, it means your details are not included on the open register and only appear on the electoral register, which may only be used for specific, controlled purposes.

If you wish to change your open register preference, please do the following:

  • If responding online, follow the instructions for changing your preference.
  • If responding by paper, cross out yes or no and write the appropriate change underneath.

After we receive and process your canvass form, we will write to you to confirm your open register preference change.