Canvass of electors

Each year we check that we have the right people registered to vote at every house in Barrow, Eden and South Lakes areas.

Local authorities are required to contact all the residential properties in their area every year, to check they have the correct information on the electoral register. This process is called the annual canvass.

Why we have sent you an email or a letter

From August 2023 we will send each residential property an email or letter asking if the information we have about the household is correct, or if it needs to be updated. We will use this information to publish the revised register of electors on 1 December 2023.

If we send you a letter, please read it carefully. Not all of our letters need a response.

Annual canvass email

If we hold your email address we may contact you by email first. The subject of the email will a be 'Act now so Westmorland and Furness Council can check who is eligible to be registered to vote at your address'.

The email will provide you with the information you need to complete your response. If you do not respond to the email, we will send a paper form to your address.

See how to opt out of emails if you would prefer we did not contact this way.

Canvass communication forms

Households that do not receive, or do not respond to the email will be sent a canvass communication form by post. Read the form carefully. The form will tell you what you need to do and how or if you need to respond. 

Who to include in your response

Anyone missing

Is there a name missing form your form, if there is it means they are not registered to vote at the property. Please add the names of anyone who lives at the property and is eligible to register to vote.

Students who have, or are about to move to university

You can include students who are eligible to register to vote in your response, because students can register at both their home and term time addresses.

Sixteen and seventeen years old

You can include anyone who is 16 or 17 years old in your response. This will ensure they can vote when they turn 18. We will write to them separately and invite them to register if they haven’t already done so. Do not include anyone one under 16.

Who to exclude or remove from your response

Second homes

Is the property a second home? Are there names listed at the property? If the property is used as a second home only and visited for recreational purposes, you can respond by removing the names and tick where indicated that it is a second home. If you think that you should be registered at your second home please contact us (details at the end of this page).

Residential care homes

Anyone who is now resident in full time care, should now be registered to vote at that property instead. We will contact nursing and care homes later in the year to ensure that we have registered everyone who is eligible. 

No longer at the address

If there are names listed on the form who no longer live at the property, then please respond and indicate they are no longer there. We're usually informed when an elector has passed away by a 'tell us once' form. However, we may not have receive this information in time for the canvass, please respond and remove their name.

Empty property

If there are names listed at an empty property, someone responsible (a landlord or caretaker) must respond and remove the names.

If your form shows that the property is empty, and no response is needed, you don’t need to do anything. If the form requires a response you must do so, even if the information is correct.

No one eligible to register to vote

If no one at the property is eligible to register to vote (for example, because of their nationality) your form will show the property as being empty. Please respond to the form to confirm that there is no-one eligible to register at the address.

Invitations to register to vote

We may email or send a paper form inviting you to register to vote. This is because you (or someone else at your property) has responded to a canvass email or form and added your name to the household.  

Responding to the household canvass form doesn't automatically add you to the register. We need more information (your National Insurance number, for example) to do this. The canvass form response just lets us know that you live at the property and that we must invite you to register to vote. The elector registration email or form looks different to our canvass communications. 

Register to vote online on GOV.UK

Your information

At the beginning of the canvass we match the register with information held by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). We compare the information on the register to the details held by the DWP and information held by the council (for example council tax). This allows us to determine which canvass forms we send to you.

Electoral Services Privacy Notice (PDF , 123KB)

Why we contacted you by email

Where possible, we send information by email. It can be more convenient for electors to receive emails, and reduces the environmental impact of the canvass by saving paper and council resources.

How to opt out of emails

You have the right to object to us using your email address for electoral purposes. If you no longer wish to be contacted by email, please either:

  • use the ‘opt out’ link in your email

  • email

  • call us on 0300 373 3300

  • write to us at an office in your area:

    • Barrow: Town Hall, Duke Street, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria LA14 2LD

    • Kendal: South Lakeland House, Lowther Street, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4DQ

    • Penrith: Town Hall, Corney Place, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF

This does not affect your voting rights. We can only remove your email address from our records. If anyone else in your household also wishes to opt out of email communication, they need to contact us separately to request this.