Annual Canvass

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Watch our video explaining household canvassing here.

The Electoral Registration Officer at the Council has a duty to carry out an annual canvass in order to maintain an up-to-date Register of Electors and to ensure that all individuals in a household who are eligible to vote are registered to do so. This starts on 01 July each year. To do this, every residential property in Ipswich is contacted by email, telephone, letter or form to obtain a response.  Canvass communications are dispatched in stages, over several months from July through to November.

It is a legal requirement for all households to respond if you are asked to do so, including households where there are no eligible electors or households where individuals do not wish to use their vote at elections. Responses can be made on-line, by telephone or by text messaging – details of these methods, along with a security code can be found on the communication we send to you. If these digital methods cannot be accessed, you can post back a response.

For those households where we ask for a response and it hasn’t been received by the return date given on the communication we sent to you,  another communication will be sent to you to remind you that you need to respond. If a response still isn’t received Canvassers will make door to door visits to the households and / or telephone calls to collect a response.

Please help us to reduce the number of printed forms sent out by responding to the first communication sent to you as early as possible.

The annual canvass period ends on 30 November each year, with a revised version of the electoral register being published by 01 December each year, containing updated information collected during the canvass.

Please note: the canvass communications you respond to are not registration to vote forms. Once we know who is eligible to register to vote in a household, a form called an Invitation to Register (ITR) will be sent to all individuals who are currently not registered. The ITR asks for details including date of birth, nationality and National Insurance number. Instead of waiting for this form to be sent, it is quicker to provide this information by going online at