Annual voter registration enquiry forms (canvass)

We carry out an electoral registration canvass each year. We do this to make sure the electoral register is accurate and up to date. Every home in the city will receive a household enquiry form in early August. You must check and confirm that these details are correct, or tell us about any changes.

When your forms arrives

You must respond to the form, even if there are no changes to report. Please check the details shown on the form and let us know:

  • any changes to details
  • people aged 16 years or over who should be added
  • any people already included on the form that are now aged 76 years or over
  • anyone included on the form who does not want to be on the open register, which is available for sale
  • anyone who should be removed from the electoral register when we publish it on 1 December

Responding to the form

You can respond to the form quickly and easily online. Please note that you will need the security codes that are printed on your form. Or you can make amendments on your form then sign, date and return it by post in the envelope provided. 

Voting in person

You will receive a poll card in the post that tells you about the vote, including which polling station you are registered to vote at and the opening hours.

On the election day you will have the opportunity to vote for your chosen candidate. If you need any help with the voting process on the day please ask one of our friendly staff and they will help you as much as possible.

Proxy vote

A proxy vote is used when you nominate someone else to vote on your behalf. You may choose this option if you are unable to get to the polling station on election day. 

Anyone over the age of 18 can be appointed as your proxy, as long as they are eligible to vote in the election and are willing to vote on your behalf. Your proxy must be able to vote for you at your specified polling station, however if this is not possible they may want to apply to vote for you by post.

You can apply for an emergency proxy vote up to 5pm on polling day. Please contact us or see GOV.UK for further information.

Postal voting

A postal vote enables you to receive and return your ballot paper via the post rather than going to the polling station. Postal votes are available on demand and you can choose how long you want a postal vote for.

Postal votes are usually issued one to two weeks before an election. We cannot alter this to meet individual requirements. You can vote by proxy or send your postal vote to your holiday address if this is too late for you. 

If you have received 2 postal votes please check that they are: 

  • not for different elections in your area, for example, a local election and a parish election
  • both addressed to yourself
  • for this year

Disabled people’s voting rights

The Electoral Commission, RNIB and Mencap provide easy-to-use and useful guidance for anyone who has a disability. 

Eligibility to vote

To cast your vote in an election you must be:

  • a British, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth citizen living in the UK aged 18 or over
  • a citizen of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory living in the UK
  • a member of the HM Forces and their spouses posted abroad
  • a Crown Servant posted outside of the UK
  • a European Union citizen living in the UK aged 18 or over (local and European elections only)