It is a letter that could easily be ignored, but you might regret it if you do.
Sent out each year between July and November to homes across Britain, Household Enquiry Forms are designed to check voter records are correct.
The problem, as he put it, is that it’s “very easy to chuck away as junk”.
This is everything you need to know about the important form.
What are Household Enquiry Forms?
Household Enquiry Forms (HEFs) are used to update voter registration records and are sent to every household in England and Wales.
The form is part of the Electoral Commission’s Annual Canvass, but is organised locally by local councils. It’s sent out at around the same time every year.
Failing to act could leave you with a £1,000 bill to pay.
Why do they send them?
The electoral registration system changed six years ago. People living at an address now need to register themselves and councils need to confirm who lives at each address to update their records of who is eligible to vote.
The government says HEFs are part of a wider project to tackle electoral fraud and increase trust in the electoral system, while encouraging as many eligible voters as possible to register to vote.
What does the letter look like?
It’ll most likely be a blue form called ‘Who is eligible to vote?’ and will arrive in a brown rectangular-shaped envelope.
What do I need to do?
The letter will contain basic information on the people currently registered at your property – all you need to do is verify these details are still correct or amend any inaccuracies and send it back.
If you add a new person, they will be sent a green form called an ‘invitation to register’ in the post. The council will then write to them individually to confirm this.
Can the form be completed online?
Some councils will allow you to do this. You’ll have to call them up to find out what options they offer.
What happens if I ignore it?
It’s not an optional form. If you don’t respond, you’ll be sent reminders, there’s a chance that someone will visit your home and you may eventually be sent a “requirement to register”.
Miss the deadline and the worst case scenarios is that you’ll be hit with a penalty fine.
I think I may have binned it – what can I do?
If you’ve binned the form by accident, you will need to contact your local council to inform them. They’ll most likely then write to you with another copy.
I’m not sure if I’ve received one yet – can I check?
If you’re unsure as to whether you’ve received one yet, or fear you may have lost it, contact your local council to see what the situation is.
If you still haven’t received your copy by October, you might want to contact your council to explain that you haven’t had a form.