What is the annual canvass?

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) must carry out an “annual canvass” of all households each year, to ensure that the Electoral Register is complete and accurate. The law requires that every household must be contacted by the ERO to request information about who is resident at the address to ensure that all eligible electors are registered to vote.

Previously, this request would have been by paper form sent to the address and ALL households were required to respond. If no response was received, then reminder forms were sent or a personal visit carried out.

In 2020, the law changed and new procedures were introduced. The purpose of the changes are to make the annual canvass simpler for citizens and to reduce the administration involved, whilst still maintaining the completeness and accuracy of the register.

How does the new canvass work?

In 2020 a number of changes to the annual canvass process were introduced. The new annual canvass process begins with checking the Electoral Register against national government data so we can check the accuracy of the register before we send out any correspondence.

The data match will confirm whether government records indicate that all the registered electors for a property are still residents or not. The results will be shown as Green for a positive match or Red for a negative match against each individual elector.

Households with only green matches will go down Route 1

Route 1 - will receive a Canvass Communication A (CCA) - this form is used where we believe we have got the most up to day information about who lives at your household.

Sample CCA:

Route 1 Form


Households with a least one red match will go down Route 2

Route 2 – will receive a Canvass Form (CF) - this form is used where information about your household did not match and therefore could be out of date.

Route 2 Form (for occupied properties)

Route 2 Form (for unoccupied properties)

There is also an additional Route 3 used for ‘defined properties’.

Defined properties are those that have multiple occupants, who do not form a single household, these include:-

  • care/residential homes, student halls of residence and HMOs'
  • The ERO will contact a ‘responsible person’ for the above properties where they have their details and will send them an email or contact them by phone. A ‘responsible person’ can be any of the following:- a care/residential home manager, student accommodation manager, or private landlord.

If for any reason the ‘responsible person’ cannot provide the information requested within a reasonable period then these properties will be moved to Route 2 and follow that process instead.


Please see further explanation of each below.


What do you have to do next?


  • Stage 1 – Electronic Contact

If we have your email address or phone number, we will initially contact you by email or text to ask you to confirm your household details, instead of posting you a form. The email will come from nottingham.city.council.elections@notifications.service.gov.uk. THIS IS NOT SPAM.

Alternatively, you may receive a text.

You can respond to this request online by using the security codes provided. If you do not respond to this request, you will receive a paper form.

If we don't have your email address or phone number or you don't respond to our initial contact, you will receive a CCA paper form through the post


HOWEVER, if some or all of the information on the form is wrong, you MUST respond to the form and provide us with the most up-to-date information about your household.

You can inform us of the changes by responding to the form and providing your security codes in the following ways:

  • By visiting 
  • By calling 0115 876 4111, or by
  • By posting this form back to the address on the front of the form

If we do not receive a response from you, we will assume that all the information is correct at the address and will make no further attempts to contact you. 


You will not initially receive an email or text as you must receive a paper Canvass Form (CF) first. As we believe some of your information is incorrect and you may have changes to make.  


You must respond using one of the following methods:-.

You must respond to the form by providing your security codes in the following ways:

  • By visiting  https://www.householdresponse.com/nottingham
  • By ringing the automated freephone line on 0800 197 9871 (for no changes only)
  • By texting "NO CHANGE" followed by your security codes with a space in between part 1 and part 2 to 80212 (standard charges apply) for no changes only, or
  • You can also post the form back to us, using the return envelope supplied

If we do not receive a response we will make further attempts to get a response from you, this may be via reminder forms, the telephone or a visit to your property.

ROUTE 3 – Defined Properties:

If you are a care home manager, student accommodation manager or landlord, you may be the ‘responsible person’ for your property and we may contact you directly. We will contact you by email or phone and will ask you to provide details of the names and nationalities off all residents and whether any are over 76 years of age. 

If we do not receive a response to this request, then we will make further attempts to get a response from you.

Canvass FAQs

I’ve received a text/email from Electoral Services, I’ve never received one before. Is this correct or is it a scam?

The way in which Electoral Services contact you at the canvass has changed. If you have provided your email or telephone number in the past, Electoral Services can now request your information by email or text. The email or text should be from Electoral Services and direct you to the following website: - https://.www.householdresponse.com/nottingham

You are asked to check your details online and confirm whether they are correct or whether you have any changes to make. If you respond to the email or text as soon as you receive it, you will not be sent a paper form or any further communication during the canvass.  If for any reason you are still unsure you can contact Electoral Services on 0115 876 4111 or visit the website at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/elections for further information.

My partner/housemate received a text/email telling them to check the registration for this address, but I didn’t receive one, why is this?

Electoral Services will send a text or email to all residents at a property so that they all get an opportunity to respond, where they hold a telephone number or email address. Therefore, you must not have provided your contact details in the past but your partner/housemate did.

I’ve received a paper canvass form through the post and I’m not sure what I need to do. All the information is correct, so do I need to send it back?

It all depends on which form you have received. At the bottom of the form if it says CCA then this form is for households where we think the information may still be the same. If this is the case then you DO NOT need to respond.  If the form says CF at the bottom, this is the form that we send to properties where we think that some of the information is incorrect. You MUST respond to a CF form so Electoral Services know that your details are still correct and so they do not send you any further forms. You can do this online, or by telephone or post. Please only post the form back if you cannot use any of the electronic methods.

We are Foreign Nationals and not able to register, therefore our form is blank. There is no one eligible to register for this address, so do I have to send it back?

Yes, your form is blank as there are no names on the register for your address. However, Electoral Services still need a response from you to confirm that you are still resident (even though you cannot register) and that there are no new people to add. You do not need to include your names on the form, just tick the box in Section 2, enter your nationality and sign the form. You can do this online, or by telephone or post. Please only post the form back if you cannot use any of the electronic methods.

I’m a student and I have received a form. Do I have to register in Nottingham and respond to this form?

If you have received a form you must respond regardless of whether you want to register or not. Students are allowed to register for their term time address and we encourage students to do so whilst they are living in Nottingham. You do not need to remove yourself from your home address as you can be registered in both places.  If your form has the names of the previous residents then you need to remove these names and add the names of all the new residents who want to register. You can do this online, or by telephone or post. Please only post the form back if you cannot use any of the electronic methods.

I am a landlord/Home Manager and I’ve received an email requesting information about my residents, is this correct as it’s never happened before?

Yes, Electoral Services can now request information directly from the responsible person for a property, instead of sending a form to the address. Please respond to the request by providing the full names and nationalities of all residents in your properties and confirming whether they are over 76 years old or not.

If you have any further questions, please contact Electoral Services at elections@nottinghamcity.gov.uk and 0115 876 4111.

An Invitation To Register (ITR) form is sent out to anybody whose details have been added to the Canvass Form but who haven’t registered to vote online.
Once we are notified by you that a new person is living at the property and they are is eligible to register. We send them the ITR to collect any more information required to complete the voter registration process. People who receive an ITR can complete their voter registration online at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-voteOr by filling out and returning their ITR.
We cannot add people to the electoral register from the Canvass Form. You must do so by providing relevant information, including your date of birth and National Insurance number. This can be checked against records held by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to verify their identity.
If you do not go online to register through the government website, or complete and return an ITR that is sent to you, we will not be able to add you to the electoral register and you will not be able to vote.
Please note that registering online or returning an ITR does not guarantee that we will be able to add you to the register of electors immediately. If the details you submit when registering do not match those held by DWP, we will contact you to request further information so we can confirm your identity and verify your electoral registration.

If you are a second homeowner and no one else lives your second address, you are responsible for responding to the forms we send, if there are changes to be made to the property details.
If you split your time between your two properties, you are entitled to be registered to vote at both addresses. You can only vote from one location in national elections.
If you would like to be registered at your second property and your name is not already included on the CF, please add your details by visiting www.householdresponse.com/nottingham.
Then visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote to register to vote online.
If you are unable to use one of the automated services, please complete the paper CF. Add and confirm your details if you do want to be registered, or ticking the relevant box in Section 4 if you don’t want to be registered at your second address. Please then complete the Declaration in Section 5 before sending the form back in the return envelope addressed to Electoral Reform Services, London.

If somebody in your household lacks the mental capacity to register themselves to vote, the individual with power of attorney (POA)will need to decide how to proceed when responding to the Canvass Form (CF).
If the POA wants the person to be registered to vote, they must add the person’s details to the CF (as well as making any other necessary changes to the form) by going online to www.householdresponse.com/nottingham.
* If the person’s name is already included on the CF and all their details are correct, then no amendments need to be made to their entry.
Or, the POA can decide not to add the person’s name to the CF. Where the person’s details are already included on the CF, they don't have to be removed, as we cannot remove pre-existing voters on the grounds of mental capacity.
If the POA cannot access the online CF response service, they can complete the paper form. Please remember to sign the Declaration in Section 5. Send it back in the return envelope addressed to Electoral Reform Services, London.
*The POA will then need to register the person to vote at GOV.UK. If the person is not registered to vote online, an Invitation To Register (ITR) form will be posted out to them. The POA will need to fill out and sign on the person’s behalf if they are unable to sign it/make their mark themselves. If the POA signs the ITR, we may request to see a certified copy of their Power of Attorney form with the completed ITR.
Please note that only the person themselves or the POA can make the declaration as part of the person’s application to register to vote.

If you are concerned about your name and address appearing on the electoral register because it could affect your safety, or the safety of someone living with you, you may be able to register anonymously.

In this instance please complete your paper Canvass Form (CF), making a note on the CF to request an anonymous registration application form. Remember to cross out the name of anyone listed on the HEF who no longer lives at the address, and to complete the Declaration in Section 5 before sending the form back in the return envelope addressed to Electoral Reform Services, London.

When we receive your CF, we will send you an application form to register anonymously, which you should complete and return along with evidence to support your application. We can accept any of the following as supporting evidence.

Eligible court documents you can use to support your application

  • an injunction to restrain a person from pursuing any conduct which amounts to harassment granted in proceedings 
  • an injunction granted under  Protection from Harassment Act 
  • a restraining order made under the Protection from Harassment Act 
  • a restraining order on acquittal 
  • a non-harassment order
  • a non-molestation order made the Family Law Act 
  • a matrimonial interdict 
  • a domestic interdict
  • a relevant interdict 
  • an interdict that has been determined to be a domestic abuse interdict 
  • any interdict with an attached power of arrest 
  • a forced marriage protection order or interim forced marriage protection order
  • a domestic violence protection order 
  • a female genital mutilation protection order 

No other court documents are acceptable and the court document must be in force on the day of your application to register anonymously.

An attestation from a qualifying officer supporting your application. 

Only those listed below may attest an application. The attestation cannot be delegated to a more junior person within an organisation. A qualifying officer can be:

  • a police officer of or above the rank of inspector of any police force in England and Wales
  • a police officer of or above the rank of inspector of the Police Service of Scotland
  • a police officer of or above the rank of inspector of the Police Service of Northern Ireland
  • the Director General of the Security Service
  • the Director General of the National Crime Agency
  • any director of adult social services in England 
  • any director of children’s services in England 
  • any director of social services in Wales 
  • any chief social work officer in Scotland
  • any director of social services of a Health and Social Services Board 
  • any executive director of social work of a Health and Social Services Trust 
  • any registered medical practitioner
  • any registered nurse or midwife
  • any person who manages a refuge. A “refuge” means accommodation with a planned programme of therapeutic and practical support for victims of, or those at risk of, domestic abuse or violence

Read more about registering to vote anonymously.