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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Electoral register annual canvass

Following reforms introduced by the Cabinet Office, the way we carry out the canvass is changing. 

The council is required by law to conduct an annual canvass to ensure that the electoral register contains accurate and complete information, with a revised copy of the electoral register due to be published on 1 December 2020.  The canvass will take place, as usual, between August and November.   

A communication will be sent to every property listing the details we currently hold on the electoral register and it is important that you check this carefully.  This may look different to what you have received in the past and in some cases, you may not need to respond.  Properties will either receive an A4 letter or an A3 fold-out form.  Those who receive A4 letters only need to respond if there are any changes to report, whereas those who receive the A3 fold out form must respond whether there are any changes or not.

If you are asked to respond, please use the online option where possible as this is the most efficient and cost-effective method.  If we do not receive a response to the A3 fold-out form by the deadline shown, we are legally required to send reminders. 

Please note: the canvass communication is not a voter registration form and is only the first stage of being included on the electoral register.  If you notify us of a new name to be added at your address, then that person will then either need to go online at or we will send them an invitation to register, which needs to be completed and returned in order for their details to be confirmed and their registration completed.

This year’s canvass is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We’re working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing.  Wherever possible, you should consider responding, if necessary, either: online, by telephone or by text message as set out on the Canvass Communication. 

The following polls are currently scheduled for May 2021*

  • Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset
  • By-Elections for:     
    Weymouth Town Council – Wyke Regis Ward
    Shaftesbury Town Council – West Ward
    Portland Town Council – Portland Tophill East Ward
  • Neighbourhood Plan Referendums for:
    Blandford (Blandford, Blandford St Mary and Bryanston)
    Milton Abbas
    Yetminster and Ryme Intrinseca

*as at 12 August 2020

It you wish to participate in these polls, and you are not already registered, please do not leave registration to the last minute, register now at

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

The communication I have received has the old occupants' names, what do I do?

You can update the information by using the following website online response.  Please note this is only the first stage of being included on the Electoral Register.  You will now either need to go online at we will send you an invitation to register, which needs to be completed and returned in order for your details to be confirmed and your registration completed.

I need to add somebody to the register at this property

You can add their details using the following  online response.  As above, this does not mean they are on the electoral register.  They will need to complete the second part of the process by registering online at by completing the invitation to register which will be sent either by email or by post.

I need to remove somebody’s details from my property

You can remove details of people no longer at the address by using the online response.  

The property is now a second home

Please complete the online responseindicating that the property   is a second home and this will be recorded. 

The property is no longer a second/holiday home

Please complete the online responseand amend the details or   cross out "second home" on the communication, add your name(s) and   return the communication.

You will then receive an invitation to register, either by email or in paper form, which needs to be completed and returned.

The property has been   demolished

Please return the communication indicating this and it will be removed from the register.

The property is purely used as a commercial or business premises

If this is already indicated on the communication, please just confirm NO CHANGE.  If the property has changed from residential to commercial/business premises, please make this change either via the online responseor by indicating on the form and sending it back.


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