Running electoral registration - Scotland

Household notification letters

Household notification letters

It is important that you take steps to maximise the number of people included on the electoral registers. The period leading up to the next scheduled polls provides an opportunity to:

  • encourage those people missing from the register to apply 
  • check that there are no inaccurate entries in your register

Sending a letter to all households showing who is registered to vote at that particular address has a number of clear benefits, all of which can contribute to helping you to ensure that your registers are as accurate and complete as possible ahead of the next scheduled polls: 

  • it will be a useful tool for prompting those who have not registered yet to do so
  • it will help to pick up those who have recently moved within or into the registration area
  • it will give residents an opportunity to check their details on the register are accurate

Your household notification letter should ask those who live at the address to register to vote if their name is not included on the letter, emphasising the ability to register online, and to notify you if any information on the letter is incorrect.

You may be able to maximise the impact of your household notification letter by:

  • linking it to any national public awareness campaign that the Commission may undertake in advance of scheduled polls
  • undertaking local awareness work to make people aware of the letter 
  • liaising with university accommodation officers and managers/landlords of houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) on how best to carry out the activity in student halls and HMOs
  • working with any other partners identified in your public engagement strategy to help promote the letters

To limit the risk of potential confusion and electors becoming overwhelmed with communications, you will need to think how the activity will fit in with other communications to be sent to electors (e.g. the absent vote signature refresh), as well as how it will interact with any known by-elections.

You will also need to liaise with your printers to establish the timescales for signing off proofs, sending data and getting the letters and envelopes printed and collated.

Last updated: 26 August 2020