Annual canvass - updating the register

The annual update, or ‘canvass’, of the electoral register is a legal requirement and starts in July each year. The process for completing the canvass is in two parts:-

HEF forms – Household enquiry forms


Every household in Southampton will receive a HEF. Please look out for these A3 forms and complete the required actions as soon as possible. The purpose of the HEF form is to check who lives in your household to make sure the electoral register is accurate. The information you provide will confirm who is still living at the property or enable us to send a separate individual registration form to those people who need to register.

On the form there is a security code which allows you to complete the form via our internet/telephone/text service or you can simply make any necessary changes on the form and send it back to us by post.

Please note, this form does not register you to vote, it just confirms who lives at your address. If you or anyone else in your household has not already registered individually you can do this online at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

If you do not respond to the HEF you will be sent a reminder. Any outstanding households will also receive a personal visit from a canvasser to ensure this information is collected.

ITR forms – Invitations to register


If a returned HEF form identifies any new individuals who need to register, they will each be sent an ITR for completion. This A3 form requests additional personal information in order to confirm a person’s identity before they can be added to the electoral register. You can help us save money by registering online as soon as possible at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. This is also the quickest and safest way to send us your personal information.

Any individuals who do not respond to an ITR form will be sent a reminder. As the final stage of the canvass, those persons who have not registered will also receive a visit from a canvasser to ensure this information is collected.