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Annual Voter Registration 2020

The law is changing the way we review the register of electors each year. The changes are intended to save taxpayers money and make it easier for electors to register to vote.

Under the new laws, we will be required to contact all residential addresses in Cornwall to check if the information we hold on the electoral register is complete and accurate.

From June 2020, we will conduct the annual review (known as the annual canvass) as follows:




June 2020

Data matching of council electoral data against government Department for Work and Pensions data and other council records

July-October 2020

Contacting properties or electors via route 1, 2 or 3 as below

October 2020

House to house visits to properties/electors that have not responded to previous contact

1 December 2020

Publication of new annual register of electors


Data matching

Before we contact any properties or electors, we will carry out a national data matching exercise. This will check information we hold about existing electors on our register (name, address and, where known, date of birth) against data held by the government’s Department for Work and Pensions. 

We may also make similar checks against our other council records, such as council tax. This exercise is to help identify properties where residents may have changed.

After data matching, we will contact properties or electors following one of these three routes:

Route 1

If we believe there are no changes needed at a property and no electors to be added, we will confirm this by sending a notification letter to that address.

The occupier of the property must check that all the information in the letter is correct. A response is only needed if any information is wrong. We will not send a reminder.

We also want to reduce the number of notification letters we have to send out. For this reason, we may initially e-mail members of the household for whom we hold an e-mail address.

The e-mail will ask them to:

  • go online to confirm the details at the property are still correct; or
  • tell us of any changes.

If we get no response to the email, we will send a notification letter.

From late July, if you need to make any changes, we will need a reply via the online automated household response service. Or by post if you do not have access to the internet. Instructions will be printed in the notification letter.

Route 2

If we believe changes may be needed or electors added at a property, we will send a paper form to that address. Even if the elector details on the form are correct and no changes are required, the occupier of the property must respond:

  • online
  • via our telephone response service
  • post

The first forms will go out in early August. Reminders will be issued if necessary.

Route 3

For certain types of properties, we will contact one responsible person where necessary to establish who is resident at the property. This will be a person who has access to and may lawfully disclose information of each person who is eligible to be registered at the property. This will include properties such as:

  • Registered residential care homes
  • Houses of multiple occupation
  • Student accommodation
  • Military bases.

The responsible person will need to check the elector details on the form and inform us of any changes required, either by:

  • online
  • via our telephone response service
  • post

New residents

Any person identified under routes 1, 2 or 3 above who is not already registered at their address will need to register individually if they are able to do so. We will send them a paper Invitation to Register form and ask them to either return their completed form or register online via the government website.

Completion of annual canvass

At the end of the canvass, we will publish a revised version of the electoral register on 1 December 2020.