Annual canvass

The annual canvass is a review of the electoral register, which we carry out every year.  In 2016 the canvass will take place between 1 August and 31 October.

Unless your name appears on the electoral register, you won't be able to vote in an election.

If you're not on the register, you'll also find it difficult when applying for mortgages, loans, insurance or credit, as credit reference agencies use the register to check addresses of applicants.

How we conduct the canvass

In the week commencing 1 August, we deliver a household enquiry form to every residential address in the borough.

If you've not received a form, you can ask for one by calling  (01226) 773070.

Failure to return the completed form is an offence, which could lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

During the canvass period, we'll continue to contact each property until we receive a response, either by posting reminders or visiting the property. Please return your form as soon as possible as this will save time and money.

How to respond

Don't forget, if there are no changes to your form, you can confirm this by:

  • Freephone
  • Internet
  • Text SMS

You'll find all the details on the household enquiry form.

Please remember that you're required by law to complete and return the form, even if you aren't eligible to vote in the UK, or if you've registered before and are already included on the register.

Who to include on the form

  • All British, Republic of Ireland and qualifying Commonwealth citizens currently living in the property. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those persons who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or who don't require such leave.
  • All citizens of European Union member states who are currently living in the property.
  • All 16 and 17 year olds. They'll be eligible to vote when they become 18, but not before.
  • All persons who normally live at your address but are temporarily away, for example on holiday, in hospital, as students. Students are entitled to register both at their home address and their term-time address and may vote in local elections in both areas.  However, they may only vote once in the event of a Parliamentary election.
  • Anyone who is away working, unless they'll be away for more than six months of the year.
  • Any other residents, lodgers and guests (but not short stay visitors).

Who not to include

  • Anyone not currently resident at your address
  • Foreign nationals, except for European Union and qualifying Commonwealth citizens
  • People who won't be 18 by 1 December 2017

If you're moving house

If you have a confirmed moving date before 1 December 2016, please leave the form for any new people moving into your property.  If you're not sure of the date you're moving house, please complete the form, write a note on the form that you are expecting to move soon and return it.  We can then do a follow-up check using the information from you.  Once you've moved house, contact us on (01226) 773070 and we'll send you a household enquiry form to your new house.

If no-one's entitled to vote

If the property is empty, a second home, used only for business purposes, or no-one's eligible to vote, you must still return the canvass form to tell us this.

If you need any help to complete your form, please contact a member of the elections team on (01226) 773070, or email electoralservices@barnsley.gov.uk.

The revised electoral register

A revised electoral register will be published 1 December 2016.

It will be used for all elections held during 2017, which might include an election for a South Yorkshire mayor, or a general election or a by-election called with just 5 weeks' notice.