Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Annual Canvass to update the Voter (Electoral) Register

To make sure no one loses their right to vote, the Council has a legal duty to keep a list of everyone in the Borough that is entitled to vote.  This list is called the Voter Register, or Electoral Register. 

Young people aged 16 or over are included in the register, even though they cannot vote until they are 18.

When there is an election, or referendum, the Voter Register is used to make sure no one misses out on their right to vote.


Updating the Register – what we have to do!

Every year the Council has to update the Voter Register to make sure it is complete and accurate – i.e. check that everyone entitled to vote is on the register, and anyone not entitled to vote is removed.

We do this by carrying out a canvass of all the residential properties in the borough. It usually takes place between August and November. Then, along with all other councils, we publish a new Voter (Electoral) Register on 1 December.

The law sets out how the Annual Canvass has to be done. The Council has to: 

  • Write to every household;
  • Send reminder forms if we don't receive a response;
  • Send canvassers to visit homes where we haven't had a response; and
  • Use the wording given to us for our forms and letters.


Don't lose your voice – what you need to do!

At the beginning of August, the Council sends a form to every household in the Borough. It is called a Household Enquiry Form (HEF).

Carefully read through the form and check the information before responding. 

You are legally required to provide the requested information, even if nothing has changed.

Any adult in the household can respond to the HEF. The letter explains how you can respond to the HEF, or you can use the advice below.


Are all the details correct?

"Yes" – All correct and no changes  

If all the details on the form are correct, please confirm this using ONE of the following options:

  • Internet - This is the quickest and easiest option.
  • Text - NOCHANGE” with your security code to 80212 (standard charges apply).
  • Freephone - Call 0800 1979871.
  • Post - If you cannot use any of the above options, complete and return the form in your pre-paid envelope. 

* Please note:  you will need the security codes at the bottom of your letter. 

"No" – Details are not correct, or information is missing

If some details are wrong or information is missing – such as a spelling mistake; someone has moved out; or you have recently moved in – you must let us know.

Just make the changes online using the advice above. It's quick and easy to do this if you have access to the internet.

If you use the online service, you do not need to return the paper form.

If you cannot use the online service, complete and return the form in the pre-paid envelope provided.


What happens next?

1. If you respond to the HEF by telling us there are no changes, we will not contact you again as part of that year's  canvass;

2. If you respond to the HEF by telling us new people are now living at the property, we will send each person an Invitation to Register (ITR).  

If you apply to register online we will not need to send you a paper ITR.

3. If you respond to the HEF by amending any of the information on it, we may contact you again if we need further details.



If you do not respond to the Household Enquiry Form, we are required to send you a reminder, and if necessary a second reminder.

Please help us save money by responding to the first form.

If we send any Invitations to Register, we are also required to send up to two reminders for these, so please register as soon as you can.


Canvasser visit

If we do not get a response to any of the HEF forms or ITRs, we must send a canvasser to visit the property.

Completion of the HEF is a legal requirement and failure to provide the information could lead to a fine.


For further information please contact Democratic Services

Contact:        Democratic Services – Electoral Registration

Email:            [email protected]

Telephone:   01642 526196

Address:      Democratic Services (Electoral Registration)
                      Municipal Buildings 
                      Church Road 
                      TS18 1LD