What is the Annual Canvass?
Between July and December each year, we conduct (by law) an annual canvass of the borough in order to update the electoral register. This is to find out if there are any changes to the household so we can remove the details of people who no longer live there and invite new occupants to register individually.
You are not automatically registered just because you pay council tax. Being registered to vote means you will be able to vote in elections and referendums and have your say in the issues that matter to you. A revised version of the electoral register will be published on 1 December 2021.
Annual national data matching
In 2020, the way in which the annual canvass is undertaken changed. The aim of canvass reform was to streamline the process to make it easier for residents, while still ensuring the completeness and accuracy of the electoral register. As part of this, we will be using data and email communication to make the process simpler.
As part of the annual mandatory national data step, the canvass process will start with an initial data matching exercise between national data (held by the Department for Work and Pensions) and some local data. From there, different correspondence will be sent to households where the data has matched, and to those where there was no match (either a no match or partial match).
What happens if the data matches?
Households will be sent a paper form in September. This form only requires a response if there are changes to be made. Following this, no further communication is sent to the household.
What happens if there is no match?
The property will be sent a paper form which you must respond to, whether there are changes to make or not. You may be sent a reminder if we do not receive a response. We also need to know why a property has no eligible voters, for example, because the property is empty or is a second home.
Do I have to respond?
Please make sure that you respond to the paper form you receive as soon as you can. Under Section 23 of the Representation of the Peoples Regulations 2001 it is a legal requirement to provide the information requested and you can be fined up to £1,000 for not doing so. Responding early will also help us save money, as if you do not respond we are required to send a reminder form and make follow up contact by telephone or door knock.
Responding to this year's annual canvass
This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing. Please consider responding online or by telephone wherever possible.
What do I need to do?
To respond to your paper form you need to make a note of your two part security code on the correspondence you receive.
If there are no changes to the details for your household, you can also respond by telephone by calling freephone 0800 197 9871 (24 hours)
If you are unable to respond online or by telephone, alternatively you may complete the paper form and post it back to Electoral Services, Ribble Valley Borough Council, Council Offices, Church Walk, Clitheroe BB7 2RA However it will save the council money if you respond online or by telephone.
Registering to vote
Please note that the forms are not registration forms. Anyone added to the details pre-printed on the form will also need to register individually online.
Registering to vote means you have a right to vote in elections and can also improve your credit rating.
Postal voting - Covid 19
If you can’t, or don’t want to go to the polling station to vote you can apply to vote by post or proxy by contacting 01200 414411/414426.
What happens to my data?
Please refer to Electoral Management and Elections Privacy Statement.