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Annual canvass

What is the annual canvass?

Each year the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) must conduct an annual canvass to ensure the Electoral Register is accurate and complete. The way we carry out the annual canvass was reformed in 2020.

The annual canvass starts in July and will run until November. The revised electoral register will be published on 1 December.

How does the new canvass work?

Electoral Register data is sent securely to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) database to be matched.  Electors’ names and address were matched against National Insurance details and the information held by the DWP.

The results of the data match will determine how we contact you, and the response required for the annual canvass.

The communication methods

The letter people receive this summer will depend on whether or not records indicate that there has been a change in the registered voters living at their property –  for instance, if a registered voter has moved into a property that address will receive a different letter from a home whose occupants have remained the same since the last election.

Each letter explains if a response is required, and the methods detailing how to respond. It is very important that it is read carefully to ensure the information which we hold is accurate.

If you are required to respond to this letter, please help us to save time and money by responding to this form as quickly as possible by going online to and entering your security codes printed on the form, or by telephone where possible.  Please only respond by post if you are unable to go online or call.

If we do not receive the required response, we will make every attempt to get a response from you. This may be via reminder forms, emails, a telephone call, or a visit to your property.

If you have questions about the annual canvass or the canvass communication you receive, please contact our Elections team. 

Contact us - Electoral services

01235 422528
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

South Oxfordshire District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE