Responding to the Electoral Register Canvass

Cumberland Council has to carry out an annual canvass of electors every year to make sure the electoral register is as complete and accurate as possible.

How it works

The annual canvass is used to know who is eligible to register to vote, including 16 to 17 year olds, within a household by checking the electoral register is up to date. 

We will contact your household to ask you to check the information we have and tell us if there’s:

  • new people that live at your household
  • someone listed on the canvass that no longer lives at the property

The information you provide will allow us to send a separate individual registration form to all the people in your household who are eligible to vote.

If you’re asked to register and you don’t then you may be fined up to £1000. Not being registered can also impact applications for mortgages or mobile phones since credit reference agencies use the register to validate applications.

If you have any questions regarding registering to vote

You can email or call the Elections team.

Telephone: 0300 373 3730

How you might receive the canvass

Depending on what information we hold, we will contact the household by either:

  • post
  • email
  • by someone knocking on your door

You will receive either a Canvass Communication A letter (CCA) or Canvass Communication B letter (CCB).

You will need to reply to the canvass within 3 weeks. After 3 weeks, you will be sent a reminder. If you do not respond to the reminder, you may be visited by one of our canvassers.

Canvass Communication A letter (CCA) 

If we match the electors registered to your household using data from the Department of Work and Pensions and local council tax data, we will send you a CCA.

You will only need to respond if there’s a change to your household.

Canvass Communication B letter (CCB) 

If we have not matched each elector registered at your property, you will receive a Canvass Communication B letter (CCB). 

You will need to respond even if the information in the letter is still correct. If the information is correct, you will report no change, or you will be letting us know of a change that has occurred within your household. 

If we contacted you by email

If you receive an email from us it will come from the following email address:

You will need to follow the link in the email to check the information that we currently hold for your address on the electoral register and amend this as necessary. 

If you receive an email regarding an address where you no longer live, you can use the online service to inform us who has moved out.

Respond online

If we contacted you by post

If we do not receive a response to our email, or if we do not hold an email address for any member of the household, we must send a canvass form to the property by post. 

The canvass form will explain what action, if any, you must take. If you are required to respond, please do so as soon as possible by visiting and using the security codes included in the form to confirm the information and/or make any necessary changes. 

If there are no changes to make you can also respond by phone or text using the contact numbers printed on the form. 

In person visit to complete the canvass 

If you are required to respond to the annual canvass and do not do so, we will make further attempts to contact you by email or post. 

From October 2023 our team of canvassers will be visiting properties that have not responded in order to obtain the necessary information. Canvassers will carry photographic ID badges issued by us.

What to include in your response

You’ll need to:

  • state if anyone is missing
  • add any students who have, or are about to move to university - students can register at both their home and term time addresses
  • add any 16 and 17 year olds - this will ensure they can vote when they turn 18

If you’re adding someone to your household

Adding someone to the canvass form does not add them to the electoral register. The person will need to register to vote on the GOV.UK website.

If your address on the canvass has changed

If the address shown on your canvass communication has changed or is incorrect, then you need to advise us of any changes, which we will pass on to our street naming and numbering team to investigate.

If your name has changed

If your name has changed, amend your name accordingly using the online response or by completing the form and returning by post. We will then send you a change of name form to complete. 

You will need to provide evidence to support the name change, such as a marriage certificate or deed poll. Alternatively, you can submit a new registration on the government website. You will need to provide your previous name and your new name.

If you do not respond

You will receive reminders by email, paper form or a door knock up until 25 November 2023.

If you do not respond, a canvasser will visit your property to collect the information.

If you fail to respond you could lose your right to vote and be fined.

How your data is shared

The data you submit online is secure.

The Cumberland Council Electoral Services Privacy Notice (PDF 221KB) explains who the data is shared with.

If you need to be added or removed from the open register

Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask them to be removed. 

Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote. 

You can change your preferences at any time by making a request. We will need your: 

  • full name 
  • address 
  • whether you wish to be included or omitted from the open register 

You can do this in writing or by email to the Elections Team. 


We will also write to you to confirm any change.

Registering anonymously

You can register anonymously if your safety or any other person in the same household would be at risk if your name or address were made public.

You must provide court documents or attestation in support of the application.

A separate application form must be completed in writing - if you can’t register online.

After you have responded to the canvass

If no changes were made, your property will be marked as responded.

If names are crossed out, we will remove anyone who no longer lives at the property.

If new names have been added, we will send registration forms by post or email to any new names that have been added at the property who are not registered to vote. You must complete this form and include the following: 

  • National Insurance number 
  • date of birth 
  • previous address in the last 12 months
  • postal voting preferences 
  • whether you wish to appear on the open register Information

You will not be registered to vote without completing this form. This form needs to be checked to ensure the name and address details are correct and that all other information is provided. You will need to provide an email address so we can contact you regarding your registration.