The annual canvass will commence in July 2023.
The annual canvass is designed to obtain the name and address of every person who is eligible to be on the register of electors – the list of those people who may vote at elections and referendums. The register is the basis of UK democracy and the accuracy of the register is extremely important. In Wales you can now register to vote from 14 and vote at 16. Foreign nationals are also able to vote in Welsh elections.
From 1st July 2023 we will start to deliver the canvass forms. If we already hold your data you will receive a Canvass Communication A (CCA), if all details are correct you do not need to do anything further, if there are changes you must respond.
If we do not hold your data or we suspect a change we will send you Canvass Communication B (CCB). This form does require a response which can be online, over the telephone or by returning the completed form.
In order to know who is eligible to register to vote, we need to know who lives at your address. This form is to collect this information. Although this form is not a registration form, the information you provide will enable us to send a separate registration form to all the people in your household who are eligible and need to register.
Why should I Complete the Household Enquiry Form (Canvass Form)?
- It is compulsory to complete the annual Household Enquiry Form, if you don't, you could go to court, be fined up to £1,000, and get a criminal record.
- Only those registered as electors can vote. If you aren’t registered you can’t help decide who represents you or your local area, or who forms the next government.
- The register is supplied to credit reference agencies, so non-registration may affect your ability to open a bank account, take out a mortgage, or buy things on credit.
- Juries are summoned using the electoral register.
How to respond to Canvass Communication A
If the pre-printed details on the CCA are correct (e.g. no one has moved into or out of the property and there are no changes to the form they have received), you do not need to do anything further.
How to respond to Canvass Communication B
If the pre-printed details on the CCB are correct (e.g. no one has moved into or out of the property and there are no changes to the form they have received), you can ring 08082841556, key in your security code and password when prompted to do so and confirm that the form is correct. You can also go online (www.hef-response.co.uk/torfaen) to confirm that the details are correct. This should take you no longer than 3 minutes to do. Alternatively, you can fill in the paper form and return it to us.
Communication B means that we do not have the relevant information on your household to data match you. Therefore, it is required by law that you respond to the canvass form. You will need to include anyone in your property aged 14+.
How do I complete the form?
Completing the form only takes a few minutes. You need to include the name and nationality of everyone aged 14 or over who is a resident and eligible to register to vote. If there are no eligible residents, you should state why this is the case. If anyone listed on the HEF is not living at your address, their name/s should be clearly crossed through. You will also be able to complete your form online when the annual canvas has commenced (www.hef-response.co.uk/torfaen).
What do I do if there are people on my annual canvass form who do not live at the property?
If anyone listed on the HEF is not living at your address, their name/s should be clearly crossed through.
What will happen to the information I give?
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register). The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications. The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
Will I receive an annual canvass form every year?
Yes, you will receive a form called a Household Enquiry Form every year, even if you are already registered to vote. The purpose of the form is to confirm who lives at your address. This means we can invite other residents, including anyone 14 years and older to register to vote. They will be able to register from 14 and vote from 16 in Welsh elections. These include Senedd and local elections.
Are my details secure if I complete the form online?
If you complete your form online, your information will be stored securely. The online registration service has been independently accredited and tested for security. It was developed to meet best practice guidelines for data security.
How to add myself/ remove myself from the open register?
You can change your opt-out preference at any time by requesting with your full name, address and an indication of whether you wish to be included in or omitted from the edited register. This request can be sent to email@example.com or by calling the elections office on 01495 762200.
Last Modified: 13/06/2023
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