Smarter, paper-less approach to the 2020 Wealden canvass of electors

EACH year, Wealden’s Electoral Services carry out an annual canvass of electors to make sure we have a record of everyone who is entitled to vote in the District.

Every autumn they have posted out over 70,000 enquiry forms which they ask residents to complete online or return by post.

If they fail to do so, the council have to follow up by visiting the property, until we find someone who will answer.

The annual canvass is a costly and time-consuming process. But national changes this year mean the council are able to adopt a greener approach.

Annual Canvass Forms will continue to be posted out to those  households where they have reason to believe there have been changes – using data from the council tax, housing or customer service enquiries, as well as national data. Or where they do not have an email address.

This will save on paper and postage.

The properties where they suspect do not think there have been any changes will receive an email from the council.

This will be slightly earlier in the year – in August. The council will be asking them to let them know online if there have been any changes.

They said:   “We hope to be able to reach more than 29,000 properties in this way. Those properties where we think there have been changes, and those properties which fail to respond to our earlier emails, will receive an enquiry form through the post, as will all Houses in Multiple Occupancy. These will be sent out at the usual time, the end of August”

“We will follow up the letter with emails and, for the first time, with telephone calls, using phone numbers which we have gained in previous years or through our customer services. The Covid-19
virus means we will be much more wary about sending canvassers out unannounced where families may be self isolating”

“With this in mind, we may be able to post out another letter to non-responding properties in October”

The final date for the publication of the new Wealden electoral roll may be postponed until February
2021, allowing for canvassing to take place in safer environment.