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Annual canvass

Annual canvass

Each year, we send a household enquiry form to every home in the borough, to make sure that the electoral register is up to date and to identify residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to register to vote.

This process is called the 'annual canvass'.

The annual canvass for the register of electors begins in late July/early August each year, and household enquiry forms will be sent to every residential household in the Chesterfield Borough Council area.

The household enquiry form lists the eligible electors currently registered at the property, along with any individuals due to become 18 during the next 12 months.

Householders should respond as soon as possible to confirm or change their details, this can be done quickly and simply using our secure internet based household update service.

Alternatively residents may complete and return the form. Telephone and text responses are also available to confirm no changes to the eligible electors at a property (details of the numbers to use will be shown on the form).

By completing the registration process you will ensure that you can vote in any elections that may take place in the following year.

If you have not received your household enquiry form, or if you have a query about who is eligible to register to vote, please contact our helpline during normal office hours on 01246 345402 or email

Reminder forms will be sent to households where no response has been received by the beginning of September, however some may cross in the post.

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.

Don't wait to register until you need a mortgage or finance – it can take several weeks before your entry is visible to credit agencies due to the processes and timings that we must observe by law.

Don’t delay – respond to the household enquiry form as soon as possible

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/early August.

The revised register of electors will be published by 1 December, if you have not responded in good time you will not be included on the electoral register when it is published. 

If you don't 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, outside of the canvass.

Electoral and open versions of the register

There are two versions of the register produced - the electoral register and the open register.

The electoral register is for use by political parties, candidates and their agents for election purposes; for law enforcement, the prevention and detection of crime, and for credit referencing purposes.

The open register is available for any purpose such as direct mailings and marketing. If you wish your name to be excluded from the open versions of the Register you can do so by writing “No” in the “Included on open register?” Section on the registration form each year.

Would you prefer to opt out of appearing on the open register?

Section 11 of the Data Protection Act allows you to do this, but the law says you must tell us in writing.

You can tell us that you want to opt out of the open register permanently (or until further notice) by letter or by email to:

Last updated on 04 March 2020