What is the annual canvass?
The annual canvass is a voter registration campaign that we have to carry out by law, so that the electoral register for Conwy can be checked and updated. We write out to every household in Conwy asking you to check if the details we hold for the property on the electoral register are correct.
There have been some big changes to the annual canvass this year and also to who is able to register to vote in Wales. The changes are outlined below.
We will then publish a new electoral register on the 1 December 2020.
Changes to the annual canvass and who can register to vote
The law on how we carry out the annual canvass has changed. Unlike in the past, the electors we already have on our register will be compared against data held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This will help us to find the properties where residents may have changed. This information will also help us to decide what correspondence will be sent to the property.
Detailed information on the changes can be found in The Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) Amendment Regulations 2019
16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote at the Senedd Elections in 2021 and Local Government Elections from May 2022. This means that we now have to register 14 and 15 year olds. If you have anyone living at your property that is aged 14 or older, they can now be added to the electoral register so that when they turn 16 they are able to vote at these elections.
All foreign nationals (that are legally living in Wales) are now also able to vote in the Senedd Elections in 2021 and Local Government Election in May 2022. Previously it has only been British, Irish, Commonwealth or EU citizens. This means if you are from a country other that these you can now vote at these elections.
Detailed information on the changes can be found in the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020
How will we contact you?
Just like in previous years, every household within Conwy will be contacted. This may be by sending the property a paper form or by contacting individuals using email, text or by a telephone call. If we do not receive a response when we legally need one, we have to try and make contact again. This may be using a different method to the first one.
What do I need to do when I receive the communication from you?
It is important that you read the communication sent by us carefully (whether that is a letter, a form or an email). You need to follow the instructions to make sure that everyone that is living in your property (that is allowed to vote) is registered. If there is information missing then you need to contact us to let us know. If there are any 14 to 17 year olds or other foreign nationals living at your property that are not listed then we need to have their details too. We would appreciate a quick response so that a reminder is not sent out.
How do I confirm or update the information you have for the property?
Please follow the instructions provided in the communication. If a response is needed this will be written in the communication. If possible, please use one of the services below to help save the council money.
Online - to confirm, add, delete or amend details.
Log on to www.householdresponse.com/conwy *
Freephone Automated Telephone Service - can only be used to confirm details are correct.
Call 0800 197 9871 *
Text - can only be used to confirm details are correct
Text NOCHANGE followed by your security code* to 80212 (if nobody is eligible to vote include a reason after your security code e.g. empty, business, 2nd home, none, other)
* You will need the security code (2 parts) included in the communication *
What happens once I have responded?
Once we have received the information we will check it against the electoral register. If there are any additions, deletions or amendments this will be updated on the electoral register.
If you have added someone to the property then we will send them an Invitation to Register form in the post or by email which asks them to provide more information, such as date of birth and national insurance number. This is so that we can confirm their identity. See below for more information.
If you tell us someone has moved away, we will send that person a letter so that we have confirmation that they have moved away. This is because we're required to have two pieces of evidence to remove someone from the electoral register.
What if I do not respond?
If you do not respond to the communication or the reminder when you have been asked to, you may get a phone call from our office or a canvasser (an officer from the council) may visit your property to confirm with you in person.
Invitation to Register form
If you have been added to a property we need a response to this form in order to complete your electoral registration. You will not be added to the electoral register until we have received this information. You can also do this on line by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You will need your national insurance number and date of birth to complete this process. This is so that your identity can be confirmed against the Department for Work and Pensions records.
The legal part of electoral registration
Electoral law is vast and fragmented but this report produced for the House of Commons summarises the law in regards to responding to the registration forms sent to you.