Annual canvass - more information

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


The Council has to undertake a canvass of all households every year. This is so that it can prepare and publish a new electoral register. 

There are three different types of form that we may send you.

Please check below for more information.

We believe that we already have the correct people registered to vote at the property. 

You don’t need to respond if 

  • all information is correct, and 
  • the form includes everyone eligible to register to vote at this address

You must respond if any details are wrong or missing.

We have been unable to confirm all the details at the property. Is all the information correct?

You must respond so we can check who, if anyone, is eligible to register to vote.

If there are names printed on the form:

  • Those people are currently registered to vote at the property. Are their details correct?
  • Does anyone else live there? If so, please tell us who else is eligible to register to vote at the property.

If there are no names printed on the form:

  • Does anyone live at the property? If so, please tell us who is eligible to register to vote at the property.
  • Is it your second home or holiday home? If so, you should register at your main home.

Overseas Electors need to complete a separate registration form annually.

If you are/will be living overseas permanently or for more than 6 months and would like to register please contact Electoral Services.

Please ask how to register as an overseas elector. When you have registered, you will be able to vote at UK Parliamentary Elections.

If you work away from home for less than six months then you can still register at your home address.

Services Electors (Army, Royal Navy, RAF) can now register in either of two ways. They may register as a civilian or they may register specifically as a service voter. If you wish to register as a service voter please contact Electoral Services to find out how to register. Please note that service voters only have to register once every five years.

Make sure you opt out of the Open register if you do not want your name to appear on this version of the register for the coming year. The council must make the Open register available for general sale and it can be used for any purpose. 

Everyone will be included in the Full register, which is used for voting purposes and supplied to the Credit Reference Agencies.

Please contact us on 0300 123 1115 if you need more information on opting out or, for serious cases, anonymous registration.

If you are over 75, please indicate this on your form or when you register online. Following a recent change in the law, you can serve on a jury up to the age of 75. Anyone over 75 is no longer eligible to perform Jury service and we have to supply this information to the Jury Summoning Service.

When someone reaches their 18th birthday, they can vote in relevant elections from that day. This is providing that they are on the Register of Electors.

By putting those young people on the register with a date of birth, they will automatically become eligible to vote at the appropriate time. This means they wont have to make their own application to go on the register once they become 18.

You can only eligible to go on the register if you are:

  • British
  • Irish
  • Commonwealth citizens
  • citizens of the European Union

There may be further restrictions on who is eligible to vote on the grounds of nationality. This depends on the type of election being contested. For example, European citizens cannot vote in UK Parliamentary Elections. However, they can vote in local elections.

If you are from a European Union or Commonwealth country, then please state your nationality when you register. (If you are unsure of your nationality, please list the nationality shown on your passport.)

By law, you should tell the Electoral Registration Officer when you move house. Sometimes people forget to do so.

Please provide your previous address when you respond to our communication.

By giving us your old address, we can check our records and make sure that your details have been removed from your old property.

We find it extremely useful to have either a contact telephone number or e-mail address for you. Please provide your details when you respond to our communication.

If we have a query during the canvass or before an election, we may need to contact you urgently and this helps us to do so.

We do not divulge these details to anyone else - they are purely for the use of the Electoral Services Office.

Electoral Registration and Council Tax operate under different legal rules. 

The Council Tax Office collect local property tax. They do not need to know if people are eligible to vote.  Council Tax keeps records of the main householder who pays the bills, with perhaps just a note of their partner, husband or wife.   Council tax records can be a useful reference.  

The Electoral Registration Officer is allowed to inspect Council Tax records. However, on their own, they do not provide sufficient detail about members of a household for the purposes of registering them to vote. 

The Electoral Registration Officer keeps a separate list of all eligible voters living at the property. This could include other residents in addition to the bill payer(s). For example, family members.

It is a legal requirement for you to inform the Electoral Registration Officer where you are living.

Every time we publish a new Register of Electors, usually in December, most people are given a different poll number.

If there are more people or fewer people on the Register within your area, the poll numbers need to be adjusted. They may be slightly higher or lower than previously. Your number may alter significantly if there is a boundary change in your area.

It's the law. We have to compile accurate records and this is our way of obtaining information from each householder.

If we still haven't received a reply by a certain date, we employ canvassers to go door knocking in some areas. It is their job to chase up any outstanding information. Our staff will always carry Cornwall Council identification. Please call 0300 123 1115 if you wish to check the identity of a caller.

Please contact Cornwall Council's Electoral Services Hotline on 0300 123 1115 or e-mail voter-registration@cornwall.gov.uk

 

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