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Annual Canvass for the Register of Electors

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The Annual Canvass 2023


Each year, households in the Dover area will receive a form sent by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) asking residents to check whether the information that appears on the electoral register for those living at their address is correct. This is part of the annual voter registration canvass. The Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 has changed the way the Annual Canvass is carried out and how you should respond to it.


How has the Annual Canvass changed?

The elector information that the ERO holds for each address has been sent to be data matched with records held by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) before any forms were issued. Every residential property will be sent a document but only households where we have been unable to match the information for the entire household will be required to respond, and those with changes to make. There are 3 different documents that will make up the annual canvass.

What to do

The most important thing to do is to check if the details pre-printed on the document are correct.  The type of document you receive will determine how you should respond; the three types are Canvass Communication A (CCA), Canvass Communication B (CCB) and Canvass Form (CF).  CCA, CCB or CF will be printed as the reference underneath our contact details on the top right of the first page of the form.

CCA - Canvass Communication A 

These will be sent by email to households where all the residents that we have registered to vote matches with the information held by the DWP.  You must respond by using the link in the email – the link will take you through to a page showing the details of who we have registered at the property. You must confirm whether the details held are correct. Where we do not have an email address for anyone in the property, or have not received a response to the email, a letter will be sent through the post instead. If all the pre-printed information is correct and you do not need to make any changes, then you do not need to respond to this letter. If anything is incorrect or needs amending, please use the online response system to update the details.

The emails will be sent 2 October 2023. The letters will be posted 27 October 2023.

CCB - Canvass Communication B 

This letter will be sent to households where we have been unable to match all the residents listed with the information held by the DWP and who have previously been sent a Canvass Form.  You need to check the pre-printed information and respond as soon as possible.  If you do not respond to this letter, we will attempt to contact you by telephone or email before sending a canvasser to the property to collect the information.

These letters are being posted on 4 September 2023.

CF - Canvass Form 

A Canvass Form will be posted to certain types of properties at which persons reside who together do not form a single household e.g. care homes, some caravan parks where the caravans are not individually listed, houses of multiple occupation (HMO), hostels and student halls of residence.  These forms MUST be responded to.  They will also go to every property where we have been unable to match all the residents listed with the information held by the DWP. 

If we do not receive a response, a Canvass Communication B (CCB) will be posted to you as a reminder to respond.  

Canvass Forms are being posted on 24 July 2023.


All Canvass Forms and posted CCAs will be accompanied by a leaflet showing the changes being made to postal and proxy voting and to European Citizens registration rights in upcoming legislation. A link to the ‘Future Changes’ leaflet is below, or you can check out our Elections Act 2022 webpage for more details and links to further information on the Electoral Commission website.

Canvass 2023 Leaflet



How to respond

If you need to respond to the form you have received, you can respond in one of 4 ways; simply click it, text it, ring it or post it.  The quickest and easiest way to respond is by using one of the automated services, however if you can’t use an automated option you should amend, sign and return the form. 

Click it

Respond online using the security codes from your form - www.householdresponse.com/dover

Text it

If there are no changes to make, text NOCHANGE and your security codes to 80212 to confirm.

Ring it

If there are no changes to make, call 0800 197 9871 to confirm. You will need your security codes from your form.

Post it

Make any changes to the form, sign it and post it back to Dover District Council, White Cliffs Business Park, Whitfield, Dover, CT16 3PJ


Don’t delay – You can save time and expense to the taxpayer and avoid receiving reminders and personal visits by responding to the canvass form promptly after you have received it.



What happens if you do not respond to a CCB or CF?

Please respond promptly to help us save your money.  If you do not respond to the Canvass Form (CF), a Canvass Communication B (CCB) will be sent as a reminder. If you do not respond to a Canvass Communication B (CCB), residents in the property will receive a telephone call or email to obtain the information.  If we do not hold these contact details for anyone in the property or can get no response, a canvasser will have to visit the property to obtain the information.  Please respond as soon as possible to prevent a personal visit to the property.  

What do I do if I have not received a form, or I have lost my letter/form?

If you have not received a letter/form within 2 weeks of the dispatch date or you have lost it, please contact us for help on 01304 872344 or by email to vote@dover.gov.uk

I pay Council Tax so why have you not registered me when you already have my details? 

The Register of Electors includes the details of all people eligible to vote and Council Tax only records the name of the taxpayers.  The data held by Council Tax does not include all of the information you are required to give when you register to vote therefore we are unable to use that information to register you.

If I don't vote does that mean I don't need to register?

No - the law requires you to register to vote however it is your personal choice whether you use your right to vote or not. If you do not register, you have no choice. 

Why should I register?

The law requires you to do so. If you do not register, it will not only affect your right to vote, it may also affect your ability to open a bank account, get credit, a mobile phone, a loan or a mortgage as the full register is checked by authorised credit agencies. Do not register only when you need a mortgage or finance – due to prescribed processes and timings that we must observe by law it can take several weeks before your entry is visible to credit agencies.

If my child is only 16 do I need to add them to the form?

Yes - you must list any children who will be 16 or older at the time you respond.  Any children under the age of 16 should not be listed.

If I added my name via the CCA/CCB/CF during the canvass, am I now registered to vote?

No – the CCA, CCB & CF are not registration forms. Registration during the annual canvass is a two-step process. The first step is advising us of your name by responding to the canvass.  For the second step you will need to go on-line to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote & enter your details in order to register. It takes about 5 minutes, and you will need to give your National Insurance number and date of birth as part of the process.  If you do not register on-line, we will post a registration form to you for completion.

I live on a caravan park for 9 months of the year – can I register to vote from there?

If you live on-site at a caravan park for 6 months of the year or more, you could qualify as resident there for electoral purposes.  Only you can decide if you meet the residency qualification for registration - no-one else at the caravan park can decide that for you. 

I have a second home in the Dover District Council area – can I register to vote there?

A person may have more than one home but owning a second property which is visited only for recreational purposes is unlikely to meet the residency qualification for registration. You need to consider if your 'main business of life' is conducted at the second property and how you divide your time between the two. 

I am an EU citizen – should I still register to vote?

Yes – the changes to EU citizens registration rights will not take effect until after elections in May 2024. Two groups of EU citizens will retain their voting and candidacy rights after this time – citizens of EU countries which have a reciprocal agreement with the UK Government i.e. Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain – and EU citizens who were already legally resident in the UK before 31 December 2020.  Please note these changes will not affect the rights of citizens from Ireland, Malta or Cyprus.

My son/daughter is away at university – do I have to remove them from the register at my address?

Students are allowed to register both at their home address and at their university address, therefore you do not have to remove them from the register at home. 

Why have you shared my information with the DWP? Isn’t it against data protection regulations?

The Electoral Registration Officer as a Data Controller has the right to share data with the DWP for the performance of a task in the public interest under The Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019. For more information on data sharing please see the privacy notice at  https://www.dover.gov.uk/Website/PDFs/Privacy-Notice-for-Electoral-Registration-Elections-Jan-2023.pdf

Why are you sending someone to knock on my door if I don’t respond to the Canvass Form? 

Regulation 23 of Representation of the People Regulations 2001 makes it a criminal offence to not respond to the information required on a canvass communication. Therefore, if you don’t complete and return your form when required to do so or use the automated system to update it, we have to obtain the information from you in some other way.  The rules that govern how the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) conducts the Annual Canvass were updated by the Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019.  This update has allowed the ERO to conduct the personal canvass stage for non-responders by telephone as well as by a door knock.  Where we have no telephone or other contact details for any matched electors in the property, we have no choice but to obtain the information by sending someone to the property to collect it. The best way to avoid a canvasser calling at your property is to use one of the automated systems to record your response or to complete and return one of the forms sent to you. 




Contact us

Email: vote@dover.gov.uk


Tel: 01304 872344