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Annual Household Canvass 2022

We must, by law contact all residential properties in Plymouth City to ensure we have all the eligible residents registered at each property.   The information we receive during the canvass is used to update the electoral register. We do this by inviting unregistered residents to apply to register, and removing the names of voters who no longer live at each address.   Additions and amendments made to the register during the canvass will take effect on publication of the revised Register of Electors on 1 December 2022.   The register will be used for any elections held during 2023.   The next scheduled election in Plymouth is the Local City Elections on 4 May 2023.

How we will contact you

From July 2022 we will be contacting households in a number of ways so not all residents will receive communications from us at the same time.

  • You may receive emails and/or text messages from ‘Plymouth City Council Electoral Services’
  • You may receive communications by post
  • We may also contact you by telephone or in person

Responding after receiving an email

We are using emails and texts extensively to reduce the costs of obtaining information from all our residents. Please help us by responding to our request for information as quickly as possible.

This is an official email account that we use. If you update or confirm your details by email, you do not need to return your paper form.

If you have any questions about how to respond, please email ero@plymouth.gov.uk.

To confirm or update the details for your household

  • Visit the household response website and enter both parts of the security code that is on the correspondence you have received.

If you have no changes to make, you can also respond by:

  • Texting NOCHANGE followed by Part 1 and Part 2 of your security code to 80212 (standard charges apply), or;
  • Calling 0800 197 9871 and when prompted entering part 1 and part 2 of your security code.

Please respond straightaway. If we do not receive a prompt response, by law we are required to send reminders in order to obtain up to date information.

Whose details should be included?

Everyone who is eligible to register to vote. Residents at the address who are:

  • 16 years of age or above
  • a British, Irish or European Union citizen, or
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter or remain in the UK or who does not require such leave

A list of eligible nationalities is available on the Electoral Commission website.

If you are a national from an EU country, you are still eligible to vote in the UK.

If you do not qualify, you still need to respond to tell us that you do not qualify otherwise we will continue to ask you for this this information.

  • Students – Students may register at both their home address and term time address, but can only vote once in the same election.
  • Second home owners – Second home owners can register at more than one address, but only if they are resident in both and split their time equality between the two addresses.

Whose details should not be included?

  • Residents at the address who are under 16 years of age
  • Residents who are not British, Irish, European Union or Commonwealth citizens
  • Visitors staying at the address at the time the canvass communication is responded to
  • Landlords who do not live at the address.

Registering a new elector

The canvass form sent to your address is not a registration form.

Anyone at your address who is eligible to vote and is added in your reply to the canvass form will not become a voter until they apply to register themselves online here.

Applications take around 5 minutes to complete and applicants' will need to supply their National Insurance number and date of birth.

If no registration is received from new eligible individuals at your address we contact them by email or post.

We ask that the person applies as soon as possible so that we do not have to contact them to complete the registration process.

I am already registered to vote. Do I need to respond?

We are asking for a response from every property we communicate with. This includes confirmation of NO CHANGE to the information we already hold for your property. Please respond as requested when we contact you.

You must respond to the canvass communication if:

  • Any information is incorrect, or there are people eligible to register to vote at your address who are not included, OR
  • The notification you receive states that you must respond

Some or all of the current occupiers are not yet registered. How can they register?

All new residents at your address need to apply to register. New residents should apply to register to vote online as soon as possible. If their application is successful, they will be added to the register of electors from 1 December 2022. There is no need to wait for us to send an individual registration form to new residents.

Where new names are provided to us, a registration form will then be emailed or sent by post to these individuals. These names will not be included in the electoral register until they have made successful applications to register to vote.

How do I remove people who no longer live at my address?

To make an amendment visit www.householdresponse.com/plymouth

  • Enter both parts of the security code provided on the canvass communication
  • Remove the names of the people who should no longer be registered at your address

I have changed my name. What should I do?

In order to change your name on the electoral register, you will need to provide evidence of your name change, for example a marriage certificate or deed poll certificate.

Please email a copy of your evidence, alongside details of your address and how you would like your name to appear to ero@plymouth.gov.uk

There is a mistake in the address on the form. Can this be changed?

Please email ero@plymouth.gov.uk with your name, address and the details of the error.

We will investigate and amend if necessary. Any change will take effect on publication of the revised electoral register on 1 December 2022.

I am about to move. What should I do?

As soon as you move, apply to register at your new address by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

When making your application you must provide your old address – this will make sure that your name is not on the register in two places at the same time.

Why is the canvass communication not addressed to me?

The purpose of the communication is to identify who should be registered to vote at an address. It is addressed to ‘Resident’ because the person or people that we have registered at an address may no longer live there at the address.

I am paying Council Tax. Why am I not registered to vote?

Paying Council Tax does not add you to the Electoral Register – not all people paying Council Tax are entitled to be on the register of electors, and not all people entitled to be registered to vote at an address are named Council Tax payers. The law requires each individual to apply to register to vote themselves.

How do I change my method of voting? (apply for or cancel a postal or proxy vote)

To request a postal vote or proxy application form, please email postal.vote@plymouth.gov.uk and the relevant form will be sent to you. You will have to complete, sign and return the application form to us – this application cannot be completed online.

If you wish to cancel an existing postal or proxy voting arrangement, you must do so in writing –  please send an email to postal.votes@plymouth.gov.uk.

You cannot cancel a postal or proxy application on someone else’s behalf - the request must come from the individual concerned.

I do not vote so I don't want to register...

It is not a legal requirement to vote but the law requires eligible residents to register when requested to do so.

There are benefits of being on the register that are unconnected with elections. Credit referencing agencies are entitled to receive the electoral register and use the information contained in it as part of an individual’s credit records, using it as verification of their address.

If someone is not on the electoral register it may affect their ability to obtain credit, get a mortgage or access other financial services.

What is the open register?

There are two versions of the electoral register – the full version and the ‘open register’:

The full register

Everyone’s name and address goes on the full version of the electoral register. The full version of the register is only used for:

  • electoral purposes (including campaigning by political parties)
  • preventing and detecting crime
  • used by credit reference agencies to check credit applications
  • jury summoning in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

The open register

This is an extract of the electoral register, which is not used for elections. Any person, company or organisation can buy a copy of this register. For example, it can be used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details or for mailing lists.

You may choose to have your name removed from the open register. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

The canvass communication will indicate the registered voters who have opted out of the open register.

How do I remove my name from the open register?

You can ask for your name and address to be excluded from the Open Register on a permanent basis. You can make your request to the Electoral Registration Officer by emailing ero@plymouth.gov.uk

  • you cannot do this on behalf of another person
  • each individual must inform the Electoral Registration Officer separately that they want to do this

Why do you write to my property every year?

The Electoral Registration Officer is required by law to carry out a household canvass each year to determine who should be registered to vote. This includes not only identifying where changes need to be made, but also confirming where there is no change needed to registered elector details.

I have responded to the form already. Why have I received a reminder form?

It takes several days to print, dispatch and deliver reminder forms. There is always a cross-over period after data for the reminder forms is sent to our print contractors and the forms are finally delivered. Your response may not have been received by us when we sent the reminder data to our printers.

For more information about the electoral register and voter registration, please visit the Electoral Commission’s website.