Annual Canvass 2023

Don’t lose your vote – residents in the Cotswolds urged to check voter registration details

Cotswold District residents are being urged to check their electoral registration details or risk losing their chance to vote on decisions that affect them as the Council starts its Annual Canvass to check everyone's voting details are up to date.

With Police and Crime Commissioner elections taking place in 2024 and a general election due to be called before 17 December 2024, this is an opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

Robert Weaver, Electoral Registration Officer at Cotswold District Council, said: “Keep an eye out for communications from us in the coming weeks which will contain information on what you need to do to make sure your household is fully registered for the next election. 

“The annual canvass is our way of making sure that the information on the electoral register for every address is accurate. To make sure you don’t lose your say at the next election, please make sure you respond.

“We would also ask that you respond to the emails we are sending as soon as you are able so that we don't need to send any follow-ups and can save both time and paper.

“If you don’t hear from the council, you might not be on the register. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at”

The annual canvass allows the Council to keep the electoral register up-to-date and ensure details are correct ahead of elections. 

Recent home movers in particular are urged to check their details. Electoral Commission research has found that recent home movers are less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. In Great Britain, 92% of those who have lived in their home for 16 years will be registered, compared with 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than a year. 

The first communication will be an email sent from 8 August and the Council is encouraging people to respond to that email so that it is not necessary to send a follow-up posted letter.

The Council will then be contacting households via post. There will also be council staff door knocking as part of the engagement who will carry formal identification.

Residents can find out more about elections on the website at Anyone with questions about their registration status can contact the council’s electoral services team at or by calling 01285 623002.

Contact Information

Cotswold District Council Communications Team

Notes to editors

  1. The Representation of the People Act 1983 places a duty on electoral registration officers to maintain the electoral register for their area and to conduct an annual canvass of all residential properties.
  2. The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other reasons as specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.
  3. The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
  4. To be eligible to register to vote a person must be:
    • aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
    • a British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
    • a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state
  5. British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying Commonwealth citizens can vote in local elections in England and Northern Ireland, Mayor of London and London Assembly elections, Police and Crime Commissioner elections and general elections.
  6. EU nationals legally resident in the UK may currently register to vote in local government elections, providing they meet with the age and residency requirements and that they are not legally incapable of voting. The Elections Act 2022 will change the eligibility of some EU citizens to vote. Changes are expected to come into force in May 7 2024, after local elections in England, Police and Crime Commissioners elections in England and Wales in 2024.
  7. The changes in voting rights for EU nationals will not affect voters from Cyprus, Malta and Ireland.
  8. Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found on its website.