Annual Canvass

  • Annual Canvass

Annual Canvass for the Register of Electors

Each year the Electoral Services department sends a Household Enquiry Form (HEF) to every household in the District. The form lists the eligible electors currently registered at that address, along with any individuals registered as attaining the age of 18 during the next 12 months.

The Annual Canvass is something that every Council in England must do under the law:

•        We must send a household enquiry form to every household

•        We must send a reminder household enquiry form if we do not get a response

•        We must send a canvasser to help you with your household enquiry form if we still  have not had a response

•        We must use the wording given to us by the Electoral Commission

•        We must warn you that we have the power to fine you if you do not respond


Register of Electors 2018

The annual canvass for the Register of Electors for 2018 has now been completed.  The new revised register was published on 1 December 2017.

Thanet Household Enquiry Forms will be delivered to every residential household in the Thanet District Council area.

Once received, householders must respond as soon as possible to confirm or change their details using a secure internet based household update service by typing into your web browser.  You will need part 1 and part 2 of the security code printed on the form. 

If your details haven't changed, you can also let us know by calling 0800 197 9871, and again you will need Part 1 and Part 2 of the security code printed on the form.

If nobody in the household is eligible to vote please include a reason for this after entering your security code - for example, empty, business or second home. Standard network charges apply.

Reminder forms will be delivered to households where no response has been received. However, it is inevitable that some will cross in the post.

By completing the registration process, you will ensure that you can vote in any elections that may occur in 2018.

If you have a query about who is eligible to register to vote, please contact our helpline during normal office hours on 01843 577500 or email us at

Why should I respond?

The law says that you must respond to the annual electoral canvass.

If you do not register, it will not only affect your right to vote, it may also affect your ability to open a bank account, get credit, a loan or a mortgage as the full register is checked by authorised credit agencies.

Do not register only when you need a mortgage or finance – Due to prescribed processes and timings that we must observe by law it can take several weeks before your entry is visible to credit agencies.

Don’t delay - You can save time and expense to the taxpayer and avoid receiving reminders and personal visits by responding to the canvass form promptly after you have received it in late July.

The revised Register of Electors will be published by 1st December 2017 and you must respond immediately to ensure you are included on the register when it is published.

If you do not register during the canvass, you can still apply to have your name added to the register. Applications to amend the register are dealt with each month, apart from September, October and November.

Invitation to Register form (ITR)

Once we've received the completed Household Enquiry Forms, we'll be sending those not registered to vote an ITR form to complete.

It only takes five minutes to register to vote online. All you need is your National Insurance (NI) number and date of birth.

If you don't register when asked to by the Electoral Registration authority, you could be fined. 

How do I register to vote?

If you are not already on the electoral register, you can register to vote in local, national and European elections as well as referendums if you are:

  • 16 or older (although you cannot vote until you are 18 years old);
  • a British citizen;
  • an Irish, eligible commonwealth or European Union citizen living in the UK.

The registration system changed in June 2014 to individual electoral registration and everyone is now responsible for registering themselves.

Forms were sent to all properties in the district between August and November 2016 encouraging people to register.

The quickest and easiest way is to register to vote online. You will need:

  • Your National Insurance (NI) number and
  • Date of birth

It will only take around five minutes to register.

Find out more about the ways you can vote