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Electoral Services Annual Canvass 2019

Each year we update the Register of Electors. This is called the annual canvass and it takes place between July and November. The revised Register of Electors is then published on 1 December.

During the annual canvass we send household enquiry forms to every residential property to collect information about who lives at a property so that we know who is eligible to register to vote.

This year our initial forms will be despatched on or around 16 July 2019. 

If you do not respond to the form we must send you a reminder and then make a personal visit to your property to confirm that we have all the information that we require. Please help us to save time and money by responding to this form as quickly as possible.

Electoral Registration Canvassers

Between September and November, electoral registration canvassers will be calling at households that have not responded to the household enquiry form or to collect individual registration forms.

The canvasser will have a copy of the form that each household or individual needs to complete and the canvasser will provide all help and assistance to ensure forms are correctly completed.

Each canvasser will be carrying official ID.

If the canvasser calls at your address when you are not home they will leave a form for you to complete. Please complete it straightaway using one of the services as listed on the form. Once a response has been recorded, the canvasser will not need to call at your address again.

There are two types of forms that the canvasser will be asking you to complete depending on the information required from each household.

Household enquiry form

By law, we must send a household enquiry form to every property each year. This provides us with updated information about who is living at each address.

This form allows residents to tell us about: 

  • electors who are no longer live in the property
  • new residents at the address
  • people who will become 18 the following year
  • any corrections or changes needed to resident's details

It is particularly important that anyone who has moved address recently looks out for the form and checks whether they are registered. 

If the information on the household enquiry form is correct

The quickest and easiest way to respond to your form is online at: http://www.householdresponse.com/reading. You can also use the telephone service mentioned on your form.

You will need the security codes on your form.

If you need to make changes to the information

The quickest and easiest way to respond to your form is online at: http://www.householdresponse.com/reading. You can use this service to add and remove names, and to amend any existing information.

If you are unable to respond using the online service, you can make amendments to the form and send it back to Electoral Services using the pre-paid envelope provided. 

Once a response has been recorded, the canvasser will not need to call at your address again.

Where possible please use the online or telephone services, as this will save the council money.

Invitation to Register Form

The household enquiry form does not register you to vote.  Any new residents added to your form must ensure they are registered to vote by registering online or completing a paper form.

Where new names are added to the household enquiry form an invitation to register form will be sent out by post or emailed to those eligible to register.  A new elector will not appear on the electoral register until they have made a successful application by completing the invitation to register form.

If we have sent out an individual registration form and the required reminders and the individual has not responded then a canvasser will call at the relevant household to assist the potential elector to complete the form.

As with the household enquiry form, if the canvasser calls at your address when you are not home, they will leave an individual registration form for the elector to complete. Please complete it straightaway using one of the services as listed on the form.

The quickest way to register online. If you are unable to respond using the online service, you can make amendments to the form and send it back to Electoral Services using the pre-paid envelope provided. 

Once a response has been recorded, the canvasser will not need to call at your address again.

Publication of the revised Register of Electors

All the information received during the canvass will be used to compile a revised electoral register on 1 December 2019. To be included on the register we must receive your information by Thursday 21 November 2019.

Reasons to register

There are many reasons to register including:

  • to participate in elections and referendums and therefore influence those who make the decisions that affect you on a daily basis
  • it may be harder to obtain credit, mortgages, loans and so on if you don't register - the electoral register is one piece of evidence used by the financial services industry when authorising applications
  • a quick response from you saves you and the council money, as the council won't have to pay canvassers to call at your property

Who can be included on the register

You need to be included on the register if you are:

  • aged 16 and over
  • a British, Irish, European or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • living in Reading Borough

Empty properties

You still need to respond. If no one is listed on the form, please call free on 0800 197 9871 or online at http://www.householdresponse.com/reading (you will need the security codes from your form) to confirm the property is still empty.

If someone's details are on the form, but the property is now empty - you can either:

  • Visit http://www.householdresponse.com/reading (you will need the security code from your form) or
  • Tick the property is empty box (in the "no one at address is eligible" section), sign the form and return it in the envelope provided.

Student properties

Students can register both at their home address and university address. Students are entitled to vote at local government elections at home and in Reading. However, they are only able to vote once at a national election, so they can choose where to vote, either in Reading or at their home address.

Please add the names of any students who wish to register in Reading. If all students are registered at home, and do not wish to register in Reading, tick the "Other Reason" box (in the "no one at address is eligible" section) and state "Student Accommodation, all students registered at home address".

You can respond by going online at http://www.householdresponse.com/reading and following the instructions; you will need the security code from your form to do this. Otherwise, complete the form and send it back in the envelope provided (no stamp needed).

More help or advice

Please read all of the information included with the Household Enquiry Form. If you still need advice, please contact Electoral Services on elections@reading.gov.uk or the Electoral Services helpline on:- 0118 937 3717.

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