Annual Canvass

The way we carry out the annual canvass to update the electoral register is changing. The annual canvass starts in July and will run until November 2020. The revised electoral register will be published on 1 December 2020.

Detail of the new process and how to respond are provided below.

It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so. Making sure you provide the necessary information when it is needed will ensure the process runs smoothly. This is particularly helpful in the current public health situation, as it will help avoid the need for home visits from canvassers. It would be helpful if you could respond online where possible.

Step 1 - Data matching

The electoral register is sent securely to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to be matched with their records. In addition to this, an Electoral Registration Officer has the discretion to use local data (e.g. Council Tax records) to perform a matching exercise..

The results of the data matching will determine how you are contacted. There are three possible routes:

  • Route 1 - If all the people registered to vote at the property can be matched.
  • Route 2 - If there are people at the property that cannot be matched.
  • Route 3 - Care homes, nursing homes, student accommodation and all other properties that have a responsible person, for example a Duty Manager.                          

Step 2 - Communications and updating the register

  • Route 1 – Data Matched

    Email address

    If we hold an email address for you we will send an email to confirm that the details we hold for the property are correct. The email will come from elections@winchester.gov.uk. If you receive an email please complete the following steps:

    1. Go to the Winchester Household response website.
    2. Log in to this site using the security codes provided on your email.
    3. Confirm that the details we hold for the occupants of the property are correct, or make any changes required.

    No email address

    If we do not hold an email address for you or we do not receive a response from the email, we will send the property a form with the elector details listed on it. If you receive a form but do not have any changes, you do not need to reply. However, if you need to make any changes please complete the following steps:

    1. Go to the Winchester Household response website.
    2. Log in to this site using the security codes provided on your form
    3. Confirm that the details we hold for the occupants of the property are correct, or make any changes required.

    If you do not wish to respond online, and have changes,  you can post the form to Winchester City Council, Electoral Services, City Offices, Colebrook Street Winchester Hants SO23 9LJ.

  • Route 2 – Partial or No Match

    We will send a form to the property which will either be:

    • Blank if nobody is registered at the property
    • Contain details of anyone we have listed as registered at the property

    You will need to respond to this.

    To respond please complete the following steps

    1. Go to the Winchester Household response website.
    2. Log in to this site using the security codes provided on your form.
    3. Confirm that the details we hold for the occupants of the property are correct, or make any changes required.

    If there are no changes to make you may also respond by:

    • FREEPHONE NUMBER:0800 197 9871, or
    • TEXT  “NOCHANGE” followed by your security code to 80212

    If you do not wish to respond online you can post the form using the pre-paid envelope provided. If we do not receive a response from the form we will make further attempts to get a response from you. This may include sending reminder forms or visiting your property*.

    *Please note that due to Coronavirus we will not visit your property unless it is safe to do so.

  • Route 3 – Care Homes, Nursing Homes and Student Accommodation

    In the case of the above properties we will send the ‘Responsible Person’ for the property a form listing each person (if any) we currently have registered at the property.

    Even if there are no changes the Responsible Person you will need to respond – the form will explain how to do this.

    If we do not receive a response from the form we will make further attempts to get a response. This may include sending reminder forms, telephone calls or visiting the property*.

    *Please note that due to Coronavirus we will not visit your property unless it is safe to do so.

  • Students

    Students are entitled to register at both their home address and their university address. Although it is an offence to vote more than once in a national election, you can vote in local elections at both of your addresses. 

  • Registering to vote

    By responding to the Household Enquiry Form, you're not automatically registered to vote. If you add anyone new to your Household Enquiry Form we send out a separate registration form to vote, alternatively you can register to vote on the GOV.UK website.

  • Postal vote

    To arrange to vote by post or proxy please download a form from our website https://www.winchester.gov.uk/elections/absent-votes

  • Opting out of the open register

    There are two registers produced - the electoral register and the open register. Your name and address will appear on the electoral register, but you can choose whether or not your details appear on the open register. If you would like to be removed from the open register please complete our online form.

    The electoral register contains the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. You can view the electoral register at the City Offices. Only certain organisations are allowed to have copies of the electoral register. It can only be used for: electoral purposes, crime prevention and detection, and the vetting of applicants for credit. It is a criminal offence to use it for any unauthorised purpose or to pass it on to anyone else.

    The open register is available for general sale and can be used for any purpose, including commercial activities such as marketing. It excludes the names and addresses of people who have opted out.