To vote in elections you need to be on the electoral register; however voter registration changed on 10 June 2014 over to Individual Electoral Registration (IER) and now everyone needing to register must register individually. Because of these changes the annual canvass is run different to how it was before IER was brought in.
When is the Canvass?
The Annual canvass for the 2016 Register of Electors will start in early August and finish in November with the new register published on 1 December 2015.
How is the Canvass different?
Every residential property in the Borough will be sent through the post a household enquiry form (HEF) which replaces the old style canvass form. The HEF form is not a voter registration form it is just to collect the names of all eligible voters at each residential property in the Borough. Once the HEF form is returned then any new residents will be sent an Invitation to Register form (ITR) which they can either complete and return by post or they can register via the national voter registration website www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Do I have to return these forms?
Yes, you are required by Law to give the information requested in these forms even if you choose not to vote on Polling Day.
There is NO qualifying date for the new register so once you receive either a HEF and/or an ITR form, please complete and return it as soon as it arrives. There is a deadline of 20 November for being included on the register that will be published on 1 December 2015. Although if you miss this date you can still register as your details can be included on the next monthly update following 1 December.
If you do not return a HEF form you can be fined up to £1000 for failing to make a return. If you are sent an ITR form you must register to vote or give a suitable reason why you should not be registered. You can be fined £80 for not making an application for registration and if you knowingly give false information on a ITR form you can receive an unlimited fine and/or up to six months in prison.
What to do with the HEF form?
If there are names pre-printed on the form then you should check that the information is correct for your property.
- If all the names are correct then just sign and return the form.
- If some or all listed persons are no longer at your address put a line through their name(s) and add the name and nationality of all new people needing to register.
- If there are new people living at your property extra to those already listed then add their name(s) and nationality to the form.
- If there are any changes to be made to any persons details then cross out the wrong information and put the correct information in the changes box on the form i.e. change of name due to marriage.
- If there is no-one eligible to register then please complete the Nobody eligible to vote? section on page 3 with the reason.
If the form is blank this means that there are currently no registered voters at the property. This could be for a number of reasons ranging from non-eligible residents or because previous residents have moved and new residents have not yet registered.
- You should add the name and nationality of any new eligible persons resident.
- Or if the property is empty, occupied by non-eligible persons, is a 2nd Home or if there is another reason why no-ones needs to register at the property then please complete the Nobody eligible to vote? section on page 3.
Who should you include?
- All British, Commonwealth and Irish Republic citizens who reside at your property including yourself. (view list of Countries - pdf - 16.28kb)
- European Union Citizens. They can register as local government electors and vote at any local elections. (view list of Countries - pdf - 16.28kb)
- Anyone aged 16 or 17 who will become 18 before 30 November 2016. They will be eligible to vote as soon as they are 18.
- Anyone who normally lives at your property but is away temporarily. Such as students (who may be able to register at home and at their term-time address. Contact Electoral Services for more guidance), anyone on holiday, working away (for no more than 6 months of the year) or in hospital (including voluntary patients in psychiatric hospitals).
Who should you not include?
- Foreign Nationals: Please note that British Citizenship is not automatically obtained by marriage to a British Citizen or on the granting of permanent residence in the UK.
- People under 16 years of age.
- Convicted persons in prison. Once they are released they can apply to register to vote.
Once completed the HEF form should be signed and returned in the pre-paid envelope provided as soon as possible. If we require more information regarding additions, removals or changes we may need to contact you so if you have either an e-mail or phone number please add those to the form before returning it.
What happens next?
If all the people listed on the pre-printed HEF form have been confirmed under the new system of IER then no further action will need to be taken by those voters.
If anyone pre-printed on the HEF form has not already been confirmed under IER then they will be sent an Invitation to Register form (ITR). This is because when IER was brought in their details were not successfully data matched. The regulations covering IER meant that those voters names were not removed from the register to give them time to register under the new system. However there are still some voters that have not yet responded to previous requests for information and so will be sent a further ITR form. These unconfirmed voters must register under IER either by completing and returning the paper form or by registering on-line via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. If they do not then their names will be removed from the register before it is published on 1 December.
Any new eligible names added to a HEF form will be sent an Invitation to Register form (ITR). To register they can either go on-line via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or complete and return the paper form.
Any names that are marked to come off the register will be processed as will any changes to existing voters details. If we require more information regarding removals or changes we may need to contact you so if you have either an e-mail or phone number please add those to the HEF form.
What to do with the Invitation to Register (ITR) Form
If you receive an ITR form it will be because your name is not on the register or because you are an unconfirmed voter. The ITR form should be pre-printed with your details. If you receive one of these forms you have the following options.
- If you have access to the internet you can register online via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote instead of returning the paper form.
- If you do not have internet access then you should check the pre-printed details on the form are correct, adding or amending any details if necessary. Complete all other sections of the form including your date of birth and National Insurance number in the relevant boxes then sign and return it in the pre-paid envelope provided.
- If you are not eligible to register at the address you should contact electoral services for guidance about what to do with the form you have been sent.
Once you have either registered on-line or returned the paper form then your details will be data matched via the Government Digital Service. If your details come back as Green (matched) then your successful registration will be confirmed by letter and you will need take no more action. If your details come back as Red (unmatched) then we will contact you about what you need to do next. This will probably be as simple as providing further means of ID such as a passport or UK photo driving licence.
Unable to Vote in Person?
If you find it difficult to get to your polling station on polling day and are not already registered as an absent voter you can either have a Postal vote or appoint a Proxy to vote on your behalf. Please contact Electoral Services for an application form.
The Two Versions of the Register
The Electoral Registration Officer makes and keeps two versions of the electoral register.
• The Full Register - This lists everyone who is entitled to vote. This is the register that is used for running elections and for other specified uses as prescribed by law (contact the Town Hall for more information). The Full Register is a Public Document and it can be inspected by anyone. The Full Register is not available on the internet, it is in paper format only and any inspection of the register must be done under supervision. It is held at the Town Hall and if you wish to look at the Full Register, please contact Electoral Services to arrange an appointment.
• The Open Register – This was previously known as the Edited register. This version can be bought by anyone and used for any purpose such as putting your personal details on the internet and mail marketing. Being on the Open register is optional so if you do not want your details sold on you can say NO. The Open Register is also held at the Town Hall and can be viewed on request during office hours Mon-Fri.
Is your name on the Open Register?
If you are not sure if your details are on the Open register then you can contact Electoral Services who can check for you. If you know your name is on the Open Register and you wish to come off then you may make this request by sending an e-mail giving your name and address to email@example.com or by phoning the helpline 01372 732120 or 732152.
You can also go back onto the Open register by following the same process.
Please note that each individual person must make their own choice about being on or off of the Open Register. We are unable to process e-mails requesting changes to whole households.
Good News – once you have made a choice about the Open register that decision remains for as long as you are registered at your property unless you ask for it to be changed.
Note: Your personal information will still be included on the full register for voting and credit referencing purposes irrespective of what option you choose and the Council may be statutorily required to supply any information you provide to other bodies exercising functions of a public nature, for the prevention and detection of fraud.
Checking the New Register
The new register will be published on 1 December 2015 and can be checked from that date at the Town Hall. If you find that your name has not been included or your entry is incorrect you should contact Electoral Services quickly and someone will tell you what you need to do to register or to correct any error.
This new register will be used to run elections held in 2016. The next scheduled elections due to be held in Epsom & Ewell will be the Police & Crime Commissioner Elections on 5 May 2016.
Please Note: You are not automatically registered to vote by registering to pay Council Tax. This is because you may be eligible to pay Council Tax but not be eligible to vote. You should also be aware that not registering to vote may affect your credit history.
Need more Help?
If you need more advice, please contact Electoral Services at the Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom Surrey, KT18 5BY Tel: 01372 732120 or 732152 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your personal information
We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law.
Can you vote?
Standing for Elections
Where to vote
Borough Council Elections
County Council Elections
European Parliamentary Elections