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Annual canvass

Each year, between July and November, we conduct an annual canvass of all households within the borough to ensure that the information on the electoral register is up to date. 

The annual canvass allows residents to inform electoral services about any changes to electors who live at the property and to identify any residents who are not registered to vote. Residents are required by law to confirm details relating to their property. 

This year’s annual canvass commenced on 20 August 2021. All properties in the borough will be contacted either by post or by email

Following the completion of the canvass, the updated electoral register will be published on 1 December 2021 (except for where an election is held between 1 July and 1 December).

How to respond

In 2020, the way in which the annual canvass is undertaken changed. As part of the canvass reform the canvass process will start with an initial data matching exercise of all the elector records we hold, against national data held by the Department for Work and Pensions and other council data sources. 

The type of communication each household will receive will depend on the information we have available for the property. Please make sure you read the communication that we send to you as it will instruct you on what action, if any, you need to take.

You will either receive:

  • Canvass Communication A (an A4 sheet with 'CCA' printed in the bottom right corner).

If the details are all correct, then you do not need to respond unless the details stated have changed or you need to add or remove people, you must respond as instructed on the canvass communication. 

  • Canvass Communication B (an A4 sheet with 'CCB' printed in the bottom right corner) or Canvass Form (an A3 sheet with 'CF' printed in bottom right corner).

If you have received a Canvass Communication B or Canvass Form you must respond as instructed on the canvass communication, even if there are no changes.

How to respond, if your details need changing

If the electoral register information displayed on the form is incorrect, then you must respond

If you need to update your details on the electoral register or someone needs to be added or removed (including anyone now over 16 years old) the easiest way is online using the household response service

It is important that you respond as soon as possible to prevent reminders being sent and the need to send a canvasser to your property to obtain this information. 

You will be asked to enter your unique security code which can be found on your canvass form.

If you are unable to respond online or by telephone, you can complete the canvass form and post it back to Electoral Services, Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6YL.

New applicants  

All new applicants added to the canvass form will be sent an invitation to register form. This form invites that person to apply to register to vote.

New applicants will be asked to provide the following information to register:

  • Name
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Current (and, if appropriate, previous) address.

Alternatively, you can register online.

Open register

There are two versions of the electoral register. The ‘full register’ is used for electoral purposes only. The ‘open register’ is an extract of the full register which can be purchased by any individual or organisation. 

If you are currently registered to vote, your letter will also state if you are listed on the full or open register. 

Under the 'included on the open register' column, you can check your register status.

  • ‘Yes’ means you are on the open register
  • ‘No’ means your details are not included on the open register. This does not affect your right to vote.

Find out more about the electoral register, including how to opt out of the open register