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Annual canvass - keeping the Electoral Register up-to-date

Annual canvas. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The annual canvass is a review of the electoral register. We undertake an annual review between July to November to make sure our electoral register is up-to-date.

Please remember you're required by law to be included on the electoral register and provide information when requested.

Unless your name appears on the electoral register, you won't be able to vote in an election. 

If you're not on the register, you may also find it difficult when applying for mortgages, loans or credit as credit reference agencies use the register to check addresses of applicants. Being on the Council Tax register does not automatically mean you're on the register of electors.​

How we conduct the canvass and what you need to do

Coronavirus (COVID-19): it's important you reply quickly to the canvass if you need to. This will help us to avoid visiting households we need a response from.


  1. Between July and August we send a letter to every household in the borough. The letter lists all the people in your house who are currently registered to vote.
  2. Please read your letter carefully to check if you need to respond or not. If you do, please update your information as soon as possible.
  3. You can update your information online, using the text message service, or by posting the form back to us. You'll need to have your security codes to hand. All this information can be found on your letter.

Who to include on the form

When you complete the annual electoral registration form, make sure you include:

  • All British, Republic of Ireland and qualifying Commonwealth citizens currently living in the property. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those persons who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or who don't require such leave.
  • All citizens of European Union member states who are currently living in the property.
  • All 16 and 17 year olds. They'll be eligible to vote when they become 18, but not before.
  • All persons who normally live at your address but are temporarily away, for example on holiday, in hospital, as students. Students are entitled to register both at their home address and their term-time address and may vote in local elections in both areas. However, they may only vote once in the event of a Parliamentary election.
  • Anyone who is away working, unless they'll be away for more than 6 months of the year.
  • Any other residents, lodgers and guests but not short stay visitors.

Who shouldn't be included on the form

  • Anyone not currently a resident at your address.
  • Foreign nationals, except for European Union and qualifying Commonwealth citizens.
  • People who won't be 18 by 1 December.

If you're moving house

If you've a confirmed moving date before 1 December, please leave the form for any new people moving into your property.

If you're not sure of the date you're moving house, please remain registered at your current property.

Once you've moved house, please register to vote online. Alternatively, you can contact us using the details on this page and we'll send you a form to your new house. Register to vote online.

If no-one is entitled to vote

You must still tell us if the property is empty, a second home, used only for business purposes, or no-one is eligible to vote.

The revised electoral register

A revised electoral register will be published on 1 December. It will be used for all elections held during 2019, which might include an election for a mayor, a general election or a by-election called with just 5 weeks' notice. About the electoral register.

Change your preferred voting method

Change from postal or proxy to in person: please write to us using the contact details on this page. You'll need to include your name, address and a short message clearly stating you would prefer to vote in person from now on.

Change from in person to postal or proxy:

Related pages

Contact

0300 303 0345

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Elections Team
Governance and Committee Services
Floor 2
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU​​