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Electoral Registration Household Canvass

Every year, Bedford Borough Council has a statutory duty to confirm the details currently held on the electoral register, this is called the Annual Canvass.

You need to be registered to vote to take part in elections and referendums for which you are eligible to vote in. The electoral register is also used by credit reference agencies.

In previous years, a form addressed to The Occupier was sent to every household detailing who was currently on the register and a response was required to every form.

Now, we are required to match the details on the current register with records held by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and local data where possible. Our data matching process using DWP records was conducted at the beginning of June, followed by some data matching using Council Tax records. In Bedford Borough, 75% of households were able to be matched.

Around 20 July, each household in the borough will receive a letter or form addressed to The Occupier to check the information held on the current electoral register is correct.

Most households will receive a letter that starts with: ‘Is the electoral register information correct for this address?’.

If the information printed on the letter is correct, you do not need to do anything.

If the information printed on the letter is not correct, you need to tell us. The ways to respond are on the letter along with your household unique security codes which you need to use when you reply. You can update the information online or by sending an email.

If someone new is at the address, this person must complete the register to vote form (link to register to vote). Adding a name to the electoral register does not automatically register you to vote.

If you receive an A3 form that says: ‘You must respond so we can check who is eligible to vote’.

We need a response from you. You have received this letter because we were not able to match the details of everyone currently listed on the electoral register.

If the information on the form is correct, you need to confirm this. The ways to respond are on the form along with your household unique security codes which you need to use when you reply. You can confirm the information online, by text or automated Freephone number.

If the details on the form are not correct, you need to let us know. The ways to respond are on the form along with your household unique security codes. You can update the details online, or by sending the form back by post.

The details on the current electoral register may not be correct for a variety of reasons including but not limited to:

  • You have changed your name
  • You have moved house
  • Your name does not appear on the Council Tax database
  • Your details are not held in the same format by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) or you are not listed on the DWP database

If details of new occupiers are added, you must remember to complete the register to vote form.

If we do not receive a response to this form by 10 August, a reminder letter will be sent to the property. If a response to that letter is not received, we are required to make a personal visit that will be by phone or in person at your home.

The revised electoral register will be published on 1 December 2020.

Visit the Electoral Commission’s website for more information.

You can also find out more about the amendments to government legislation and changes to the regulations.