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Household voting (annual canvass)

Explains the annual canvass process and what to do when you receive an Household Enquiry Form (HEF) or Invitation to Register (ITR) form.

Why have I received a Household Enquiry Form (HEF)?

You will have received a Household Enquiry Form (HEF) as part of the ‘annual canvass’. This is a kind of survey carried out every year in order to make sure that the register of electors is kept up to date.

The annual canvass is carried out by sending a HEF (previously known as an annual canvass form) to every household in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The form will be addressed to "the occupier" and will contain the details of all those in the household who are registered to vote.

Each household is required by law to make sure that the details on the form are correct. 

Most HEFs will list the details of who we think lives at your property. Properties, where no one is registered to vote, will receive a blank HEF. 

All eligible residents need to be included on the HEF. Eligible residents are: 

  • people who are aged 16 years or over (although they will not be able to vote until they are 18)  
  • British, Irish or EU citizens, or  
  • A Commonwealth citizen who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK

Read more about how to confirm whether the information on the HEF is correct and what to do if any information needs changing

How do I complete my HEF?

Watch a video showing you how to complete your HEF:

Completing your HEF (YouTube video - external website)

Learn what to do if the details are correct on your HEF. 

Learn what to do if details need changing/amending on your HEF. 

Do I need to do anything if the details have not changed on my HEF?

Yes. You must confirm with us that your details have not changed using one of the methods below:

Online 

Using the Household enquiry response website:

Household enquiry response website (external website)

You will be prompted on the first page for Part 1 of your Security Code (this is printed on the first page of your HEF form). You will then be prompted for Part 2  which is also printed on the first page of your HEF form. 

Please note: you can only use the online service if you have a valid email address. 

Phone 

Call 0800 025 3126 to make an automated response. You will be asked to key in the 10 digit Security Code printed on the first page one of your HEF form. If you have no changes to make, you will be asked to press the 0 (zero) button to confirm all the details on the form are correct.

Text 

Text your 10 digit Part 1 Security Code and eight letter Part 2 code which is printed on the first page of your HEF form to 07507 319820. You will be sent a return text confirming your response explaining the steps to take to confirm your details have not changed – you do not need to do anything else.

Post 

Using the HEF we posted out to you.  You need to sign the form on page three before you return it to us using the pre-paid envelope supplied. Further details of where to return it to are on the form.

What do I do if the information on the HEF needs changing?

You should confirm to us that the details on the HEF have changed by using one of the methods below:

Online 

Using the Household enquiry response website: 

Household enquiry response website (external website).

You will be prompted on the first page for Part 1 of your Security Code (this is printed on the first page of your HEF form). You will then be prompted for Part 2 of your Security Code which is also printed on the first page of your HEF form. 

Please note: you can only use the online service if you have a valid email address. 

Post 

Using the HEF we posted out to you, add to or amend the form as necessary, sign the form on page three and return it to us using the pre-paid envelope supplied. Further details of where to return it to are on the form.

What changes do I need to tell you about?

Someone has moved out/in

If someone is listed on your HEF but has moved away or someone has moved into the property who is not listed on the HEF, you can inform us in the following way:

Online

How to tell us of the changes in your household online

Post

How to tell us of the changes in your household by post

Cross out the name of the person who has moved away or add the name of the person who has moved in. 

Adding a person's name to the HEF or on the Household enquiry response website does not mean that they will be added to the register of electors. All new people who are added to a HEF will receive a form called an Invitation to Register (ITR). This will ask for information about that person, including their National Insurance Number and date of birth. Once this form has been returned to us we can then take steps to register that person.

Anyone over 76

If you are over 76 but there is no cross (X) in the column on the HEF, you must tell us. We ask for this information as it is used by the courts when selecting people for jury service.  

You must inform us if you are over 76 using the following means: 

Online 

How to tell us of the changes in your household online 

Post 

How to tell us of the changes in your household by post 

If by post, mark a cross (X) in the 'Over 76?' column. 

Nationality 

If your nationality is incorrect, please inform us by the following ways: 

Online 

How to tell us of the changes in your household online 

Post 

How to tell us of the changes in your household by post 

If by post, write the correct nationality in the 'Nationality' column.

Postal or proxy vote

This tells you whether you have a postal or proxy vote. If you wish to apply for or cancel a postal or proxy vote you can do this by the following means:

Request a postal vote online 

How to tell us of the changes in your household online

Request a postal vote by post 

How to tell us of the changes in your household by post 

If by post, write 'Postal' under the 'Postal or proxy vote?' column. 

Cancel a postal vote

How to tell us of the changes in your household by post 

You can only cancel your existing postal vote by sending the HEF back to us in the post. Cross out 'Postal' under the 'Postal or proxy vote?' column. 

Request a proxy vote online

You can download a proxy application online to request a proxy vote.

Request a proxy vote by post

How to tell us of the changes in your household by post

If by post, write 'Proxy' under the 'Postal or proxy vote?' column. 

Cancel a proxy vote

How to tell us of the changes in your household by post

When telling us by post, cross out 'Proxy' under the 'Postal or proxy vote?' column.

Opting in or out of the Open Register

Under the 'Included on the open register' column this will say either:

  • Yes - this means you are on the Open Register which can be bought by any person, company or organisation 
  • No - this means that your details are not included on the Open Register and so your details are not passed on to other parties or organisations. This does not affect your right to vote. 

If you wish to opt out or in of the Open Register, you can do this by the following means:

Online

How to tell us of the changes in your household online 

Post

How to tell us of the changes in your household by post 

To opt out by post, cross out 'Yes' under the 'Included on the open register' column. To opt in write 'Yes' under the  'Included on the open register' column.

What is the deadline to respond to the HEF?

You need to respond to the HEF as soon as possible. If a response is not received within approximately 3 weeks of you receiving the form, then you will be sent a reminder, which will give you a further few weeks to respond.

Read about what could happen if you don't respond in time.

Why have I received an Invitation To Register (ITR) form?

An Invitation to Register Form (ITR) is usually sent out only to new people who are not listed on the HEF that we’ve sent to you. 

The reason for this is that the law has changed and in order to be registered, residents must provide us with various information, including your national insurance number and your date of birth. We then try to match this information with the records held by the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP).

If you do not provide us with the details we require, you cannot be entered on the register of electors.

You can provide us with the required information by the following means:

Online

GOV.uk – Register to vote (external website) 

Post

Complete the ITR and return it to us using the prepaid envelope provided. Further details of where to return it to are on the form. 

If your details do not match those held by the DWP, we will write to you again and ask for some more information.

Residents who did not respond to the canvass last year or who we were unable to match against DWP records will also receive an ITR (even if your name was printed on the HEF).  

Please note: If this is why you have received an ITR you must complete it or you will be deleted from the register of electors.

What happens if I do not respond to the HEF or my ITR Form?     

If you do not respond to your HEF or ITR, we will send you a reminder. If you still do not return the forms, we are obliged to send a personal canvasser to your home with a further reminder.

The potential penalties associated with each are:

HEF

There is a criminal penalty for failing to provide the information required by the HEF of a maximum of £1,000. The penalty for providing false information is imprisonment of up to six months or, (on summary conviction) an unlimited fine. 

ITR 

If you do not provide us with the information requested on the Invitation to Register Form (ITR), you could be fined £80 and your name be removed from the register. This means you will not be able to vote and your credit rating could be affected.