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Annual Household Canvass


We must, by law contact all residential properties in Plymouth to ensure we have all eligible residents at each property registered. Information from the canvass is used to update the electoral register. We do this by:

  • inviting unregistered residents to register
  • removing the names of voters who no longer live at each address

Changes to the register during the canvass will take effect on 1 December. On publication of the revised Register of Electors.

The register will be used for any elections held.

How we will contact you

From July we will be contacting households in a number of ways. Not all residents will contacted at the same time. You may be contacted by:

  • email and/or text messages from ‘Plymouth City Council Electoral Services’
  • by post
  • telephone or in person

Responding after receiving an email

We are using emails and texts to reduce the cost of obtaining information from our residents. Please help us by responding to our request for information as quickly as possible.

This is an official email account that we use. If you update or confirm your details by email, you do not need to return your paper form. If you have any questions about how to respond, email

To confirm or update the details for your household

If you have no changes to make, you can also respond by:

  • Texting NOCHANGE followed by Part 1 and Part 2 of your security code to 80212 (standard charges apply), or;
  • Calling 0800 197 9871 and when prompted entering part 1 and part 2 of your security code.

Please respond straightaway. We are required by law to send reminders to get up to date information if we do not receive a prompt response.

Details that should be included

Everyone who is eligible to register to vote. Residents at the address who are:

  • 16 years of age or above
  • a British, Irish or European Union citizen, or
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter or remain in the UK or who does not require such leave

A list of eligible nationalities is available on the Electoral Commission website. If you are a national from an EU country, you are still eligible to vote in the UK. You still need to respond if you do not qualify otherwise we will continue to ask you for this this information.

  • Students – Students may register at both their home address and term time address, but can only vote once in the same election.
  • Second home owners – Second home owners can register at more than one address, but only if they are resident in both and split their time equality between the two addresses.

Details that should not be included

  • Residents at the address who are under 16 years of age
  • Residents who are not British, Irish, European Union or Commonwealth citizens
  • Visitors staying at the address
  • Landlords who do not live at the address.

Registering a new elector

The canvass form sent to your address is not a registration form. Anyone at your address who is eligible to vote and is added in your reply to the canvass form will not become a voter. They need to apply to register themselves online.

Applications take around 5 minutes to complete and applicants will be asked for their:

  • National Insurance number
  • date of birth

We will contact eligible individuals by post or email if they do not register.

Who we need a response from

We are asking for a response from every property we communicate with. This includes confirming there's been no change to the information we hold. Please respond as requested when we contact you.

You must respond to the canvass communication when:

  • any information is incorrect
  • there are people eligible to register to vote at your address who are not included
  • the notification you receive states that you must respond

How to register to vote

All new residents at your address need to apply to register. New residents should apply to register to vote online as soon as possible. If their application is successful, they will be added to the register of electors from 1 December. There is no need to wait for us to send an individual registration form to new residents.

Where new names are provided to us, a registration form will be emailed or sent by post to these individuals. These names will not on the electoral register until they have registered to vote.

Removing people from my address

To make an amendment visit the household response website.

  • enter both parts of the security code provided on the canvass communication
  • remove the names of the people who should no longer be registered at your address

Is the data I enter online secure?

The online service and data you provide is secure. It has been independently accredited, security tested and developed to meet the best practice guidelines for data security. is hosted by Civica Xpress who are accredited by the government. You can see their accreditation under operational security at

Changed name

To change your name on the electoral register, you will need to provide evidence of your name change. This could be a marriage certificate or deed poll certificate.

Email a copy of your evidence, details of your address and how you would like your name to appear to

Address mistake on form

Please email with your name, address and the details of the error.

We will investigate and amend if necessary. Any change will take effect on on 1 December.

Moving house

As soon as you move, apply to register at your new address by visiting GOV.UK.

When making your application you will provide your old address. This will make sure your name is not on the register in two places at the same time.

I am a student - should I register to vote in Plymouth?

As a student you can register to vote at both your term time and home address. This means that you will be able to vote if an election is called at short notice. If you register to vote at home and term time address you are able to vote at local elections at both addresses. It is a serious offence to vote twice at a national election such as a Parliamentary General Election or a national referendum.

More information on registering to vote if you are a student can be found on the Electoral Commission Students web page.

How we address communications

The purpose of the communication is to identify who should be registered to vote at an address. It is addressed to ‘Resident’ as the person or people that we have registered at the address may no longer live there.

Council Tax

Paying Council Tax does not add you to the Electoral Register.

  • not all Council Tax payers are entitled to be on the register of electors
  • not all people entitled to be registered to vote at an address are named Council Tax payers

The law requires each individual to apply to register to vote themselves.

How to vote

To request a postal vote or proxy application form email and we will send you a form. You will have to complete, sign and return the application form to us. This application cannot be completed online.

If you want to cancel an existing postal or proxy voting arrangement you must do so in writing. Send an email to

You cannot cancel a postal or proxy application on someone else’s behalf.

Disabilities and Incapacity

If you have a reason that prevents you from completing the canvass form or registering to vote please get in touch with the Electoral Services Team by writing to Electoral Services, Ballard House, West Hoe Road, Plymouth, PL1 3BJ or email

I don't want to register

The law requires eligible residents to register when requested. There are benefits of being on the register that are unconnected with elections. Credit referencing agencies are entitled to receive the electoral register. They use the information as verification of an individuals address.

If someone is not on the electoral register it may affect their ability to:

  • get credit
  • get a mortgage
  • access other financial services

If you think your name and address being on the electoral register could affect your safety, or the safety of someone in your household, you can apply to register to vote anonymously. This means you will still be able to vote, but your name and address will not be on the electoral register. We will not disclose your details to anyone, unless legally required to.

Why we contact your property each year

The Electoral Registration Officer is required by law to carry out a household canvass each year to determine:

  • who should be registered to vote
  • where changes need to be made
  • confirming where there is no change needed to registered elector details

Received a reminder form but you've already responded

Your response may not have been received by us when we sent the reminder data to our printers.

For information about the electoral register and voter registration visit the Electoral Commission’s website.