Your council

Keeping the electoral register up-to-date

Annual canvass 2021

Each year from July until November the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) has a legal requirement to conduct an annual canvass to ensure the electoral register is accurate and complete.

The 2021 Annual Canvass will commence early August. Letters will be sent out to every address within the City of York Council area. Please follow the instructions on your letter as this will tell you what you need to do. Not all households need to respond, dependent on the type of letter received.

Your letter will be pre-printed with the current information held for the address, and you will need to check that this information is correct and notify us if there are any changes.

We may also contact you by:

  • Email
  • Text
  • Telephone
  • Personal Visit


If your letter states that you must respond, this is a legal requirement and you should respond whether there are changes to be made or not, and even if you are not eligible to vote in the UK, or if you are already registered and are included on the register, you should still respond. Failure to provide information could result in a fine of up to £1000.

If you letter states that you do not need to respond if all the information is correct and includes everyone eligible to register to vote this address, (no changes) to the information we hold for your property, then you do not need to respond or do anything further.

Please read the information on your communication letter very carefully to:

  • check whether or not you are required to respond
  • that all the information we currently hold is correct

It is much quicker and saves your local council money if you respond using the automated response channels, online, telephone or SMS options. You will need your unique security codes part 1 and part 2 printed on the front page of the communication letter that you have received.

If there are changes to be made to the household registration, then these can only be made using the online response service.

Confirm or change your household details

If no changes are required, and your communication letter states that you must respond, then you can respond using the online, telephone or SMS response channels.

You must provide your security codes part 1 and part 2 when using the following automated response services:

  • online: to confirm or change your household details visit the Official Household Information Response Website
  • by telephone: 0808 284 1583, only to confirm no changes to the household details
  • by SMS: 07786 209383, only to confirm no changes to the household details
  • by post, if you have received a communication and are required to respond by law, but are unable to do so using the automated responses above, then you can return the letter or form by post, ensuring that you have made the necessary amendments.

If a response is required to the initial communication sent out in August and you do not respond, then we are required by law to follow up with further reminder communications which may be by email, text message, canvass form, telephone call, personal visit or a combination of these communications.

What happens next

The form lists everyone currently registered to vote at the property and we use this to update the information when publishing the revised annual register on 1 December.

If you have any questions about the communication you have received or are unable to use the online registration service, for further assistance you can:

Electoral Services Team's duties

Our Electoral Services Team assists electors with registering to vote and supports the election process.

We don't:

You can check if you're registered to vote by contacting our Customer Centre.

Also see

Electoral Services

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551007