26 Sep 2016

Democracy and Engagement

Make sure you’re able to vote – remember to respond to your HEF

Electoral canvassers are due to visit households across the city where residents have yet to return their Household Enquiry Form (HEF).

The aim of the HEF is to ensure the electoral register is up to date and to identify any residents who are not registered to vote.

Canvassers will have an electronic tablet, which they can use to complete the HEF on doorsteps, register electors to vote and check documentary evidence. 

Over the coming weeks, canvassers will attend more than 65,000 properties starting on Friday (30 September). They will always carry identification and will never ask for any form of payment. 

By law, everyone who receives this form must respond to it, failure to do so could result in a £1000 fine.

Stephen Hughes, Electoral Registration Officer for Bristol City Council, said: “We’re making it easier for people to register year on year.  You can now respond to your Household Enquiry Form online, by text, phone or post.  This form will make sure that your details are on the electoral register.  

“Not being on the register means that you won’t be able to exercise your right to vote and have your say in elections.  As the register is also used by other organisations to verify personal details, not being on it can also affect your ability to apply for loans and enter contracts.

“I encourage everyone to respond to their form as soon as they can.  It’s simple and only needs to take a few seconds. Our Electoral Services team are on hand to provide support and our website contains a wealth of helpful information and advice.”

HEFs are used to check who is on the electoral register for each property.

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. 

If you are not on the register you will not be able to vote in any elections either national or local.  The register is also used by companies and organisations for credit checks and to verify personal details.  If you are not registered it could affect your ability to open bank accounts or apply for loans. 

You can still respond online at or call 0800 197 9871 or simply text NOCHANGE followed by your security code* to 80212.

You can find more information and guidance on the council’s website: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/annual-canvass-household-enquiry-form

Any residents who have any questions can contact the elections team at electoral.services@bristol.gov.uk or on 0117 922 3400. Alternatively visit http://www.bristol.gov.uk/annualcanvass for more information.


Notes to editors

* Your security code can be found on the front of your form.