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Your Guide to the 2020 Canvass & Canvass Reform

The Annual Canvass has changed, making it more efficient, cost-effective, and tailored to the local communities it serves.
This means that the communication you receive from Tameside Council may be different from previous years, so it is important to check the emails/letters we send you and respond as necessary so that you stay registered and able to vote.

COVID-19: We strongly encourage electors to respond as soon as possible if required. We would urge you to respond online and to consider opting for a Postal Vote for future elections

What is the Annual Canvass?

The Annual Canvass is required every year by law and is when local authorities check the Electoral Register to make sure that eligible residents are registered to vote. During Canvass this year, properties will receive different kinds of communication depending on if data suggests there have been changes in household occupants.

How Will the New Canvass Work?

There are two steps to the new Annual Canvass: Data Matching and three Communication Routes.
No matter which route your property assigned to you MUST follow the instructions on our communications to make this year’s Canvass as efficient and accurate as possible.


Data Matching

The purpose of this nationwide Canvass Reform was to bring it up to date & make it more efficient. The Tameside Electoral Register was matched with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in July. Here, details held on the register were matched with National Insurance data and information held by the DWP as well as other local data sources. The purpose of the Data Matching step is to enable us to tailor the Canvass process down to an individual property level by assigning it to one of three property routes.

Route 1 – Perfect Match

Properties where details held on the Electoral Register match with those held by the DWP or by Tameside Council are sent down this route. Properties on this route will receive a letter just to confirm what we have or may receive an email inviting them to check the details we hold. You will only receive an email from us if you have previously registered your email address with us.

Route 2 –No Match

Properties that have not matched during Data Matching are sent down Route 2.  These properties must be contacted three times by law if no response is received. These properties can expect to be contacted using a combination of letter, form, phone call, SMS, personal canvass, or email.

Route 3 – Identified Properties

Properties such as care homes, student accommodation, and houses of multiple occupation can be set to Route 3. These properties will be contacted to advise Elections Officers on current residents.
For more information, visit The Electoral Commission website.

Responding to Us

We will be sending out both letters and emails this year. Please carefully read the letters you receive from us to check if we require a response.
The easiest way to respond to us is by visiting the household response website where you will be asked to submit the security codes provided on the letter and to confirm or update your household’s information. Only one elector form each household needs to respond on behalf of the whole household.
You can also reply to this form by:
  • Completing the form and posting it back to us. Please note: Due to COVID-19 there will be no physical Elections Office this year and so you cannot deliver your form in person
  • Calling us on 0800 197 9871
  • Emailing us at
  • If there has been no change, you can text NOCHANGE followed by your security code to 80212. Please note: if you enter your security code incorrectly, we will not be notified that you have responded.
The name and nationality of everyone aged over 16 who lives at the address and is eligible to vote must be recorded where prompted. Anyone listed on the form who is not currently living in the property should have their names clearly crossed through for removal. If there are currently no residents eligible to vote at the property, you should state the reason why this is the case.
New residents who have been added to the forms will need to make a separate application to register to vote. The easiest way to do this is on the website. New electors who have not registered online will be sent an Invitation to Register letter which requires a response. This will ask for their previous address, date of birth, National Insurance number and voting preference.
COVID-19: We strongly encourage electors to respond as soon as possible if required. We would urge you to respond online and to consider opting for a Postal Vote for future elections
If a response is required and we do not receive a response from you, follow-up communications will be made including reminder forms, a telephone call, or a visit to your property. Due to the current public health situation, to protect you and our officers we will not visit your property until it is safe to do so. If you do not provide the requested information, you could be fined.

Canvass Reform FAQs


I have received a Canvass Email. Is it genuine?

Tameside Council’s Annual Canvass emails are to be sent out to electors around 25th August 2020 and will direct you to the Household Response Website. Genuine communications will come from the email address:

What will happen if I don’t respond?

If the email or form requires we would urge you to do this as soon as possible. By responding early this will avoid further communication such as paper forms, calls, or a door knock visit to collect the information required. If you do not provide the requested information, you could be fined.

I have recently registered with Council Tax. Does this automatically add me to the Electoral Register?

Registering for Council Tax will not automatically register you on the Electoral Register. A separate application must be made to register to vote.
The quickest and easiest way to register to vote is on the website. It takes just five minutes.


How are you keeping my data safe?

The information you give us will only be used for electoral purposes and is stored securely according to data protection legislation. Personal information provided to us will not be shared with another organisation unless required or specified in law. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Notice.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

Contact our Elections team on 0161 342 8355 or
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