The annual household canvass to update the register of electors is about to start. Look out for your canvass communication which we be delivered around mid July.

How it works

Canvass reform means that we will data match all individuals within households with the Department for Work and Pensions Customer Information System (DWP CIS) and local data sets in mid-June – based on test data undertaken we expect approx. 80% of households to match.

  • Matched Households – You will receive a letter outlining the details of people registered at that property if all the details on the letter are correct you DO NOT need to respond. If they have changed you should let us know using the online service or by calling the Helpline number to make the changes.
  • Unmatched Households – For the 20% of households in the Borough that we do not get a full match for will receive a letter outlining the details of people registered at that property. The letter will ask you to use the online service or call the Helpline number to confirm the details or make any changes. You do NOT need to send the letter back to us. Please respond as soon as possible as this will avoid us having to contact you again. 

Please note 16 and 17 year olds should still be added to the register to enable them to vote on or after their 18th birthday.

If you do not reply

We are required to chase up non responding unmatched households therefore you may get an email and a Canvass Form, you must respond to the Canvass Form if you receive one even if there are no changes, the form will ask you to use the online service or contact the Helpline. Alternatively you will have an option to post the form back to us in the pre-paid envelope provided.

For those households still outstanding mid-late October you may get a telephone call in order to update the information. These calls could be made at evening or weekends

It is important that you tell us about any changes in your household so that we can make sure you are able to vote in any elections. Not being registered may also affect your credit score.

What happens next

Anyone who is added to a property will still need to register to vote. We will send them an ‘Invitation to Register Form’ to anyone who has been added so that they can register to vote either by filling in the paper form or by registering online

Remember by completing the canvass form or making changes via the online service or calling the Helpline you are not registered only confirming the names of the people at the property.

Electoral register

The Electoral register is a list of all names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in the Warrington Borough Council electoral area.

The new Electoral Register will be published in full on 1 December 2023.

Canvass Changes

The way we carry out the annual canvass to update the electoral register changed in 2020. Instead of sending all households a form which you had to return we now carry out a data matching exercise with the Department of Work and Pensions and local datasets in June.

We expect approximately 80% of households to have a full match of all occupants and these households will be sent a letter saying that you do not need to respond unless the information is wrong and it tells you how to make changes by going online using your personal security codes provided.

For the other properties where we did not get a match you will receive a letter which shows the details that we currently hold you must respond to this form. You will be provided with details of how to make changes by going online using your personal security codes provided.

Frequently asked questions

From 2020 the way the annual canvass is carried out has changed

If you have a question that’s not been answered here or do not have access to the internet please contact our helpline 01925 442184

Do I need to respond to any communication I am sent?

Only if you need to make a change or are required to respond to the letter or canvass form we may send to you. If your nationality has changed, and if ‘you are now 76 or over’ correct the information and we will make the change or contact you if we require further information.

The quickest and easiest way to make any changes is online or by calling the Helpline number on any communication you receive.

If I have responded to the letter or form online, do I still need to return the paper communication?

No you do not need to return any paper communication if you have responded online or by phone.

Who is eligible to register?

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 16 years old or over (you can only vote when you are 18)
  • A UK citizen
  • A qualifying Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK
  • An EU citizen resident in the UK

A qualifying Commonwealth citizen is someone who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or does not require such leave.

I completed a return to add someone to be registered. What happens next?

Anyone new to the household who is not shown on any communication sent needs to be registered to vote. This is known as individual registration. The quickest way and easiest way is for the person to do this online at

It only takes 5 minutes and you have to give your personal identifiers i.e. your date of birth and your NI Number.

My details are already on the communication I have received so does this mean I am registered to vote?

Yes it does mean that you are currently registered to vote.

If there is someone new added to the property this will allow us to send a separate individual registration form to those in your household who are not yet registered. The quickest way and easiest way is for the person to do this online at

Or if names are crossed out it will allow us to remove anyone who no longer lives in the property.

Do I need to include my email address and phone number on the canvass form?

You are invited to include your email address and phone number, but you do not have to. We will use this information only in connection with your registration, and it helps us to contact you if there is a problem.

I have already applied to register, do I need to respond to the canvass communication I’ve received too?

Yes. The canvass communication is not a registration form, but instead provides us with information on who lives in your household. This means we can invite other residents, including any 16 or 17 year-olds, to register to vote if we need to.

Opting out of the ‘open register’

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

  • Elections
  • Prevention and detection of crime
  • Checking applications for loans or credit
  • Jury summoning in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

You can opt out of the open register. This is the version of the register that’s available to anyone who wants to buy a copy

Opting out does not affect your right to vote.

Your privacy is important to us

Download our Privacy Notice for Canvass Reform from our Privacy Policy webpage

11 September 2023