To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to section 9 of his Department's policy statement, Proposals on reform of the annual canvass, published on 5 October 2018, what assessment his Department has made of response methods to Household Enquiry Forms in order to improve appropriate messaging and encourage responses.
The Electoral Commission (EC) has responsibility for designing registration forms, which are subject to the approval of the Minister for the Cabinet Office following consultation with the Scottish Ministers in respect of forms for use in Scotland and the Welsh Ministers in respect of forms for use in Wales.
We are working closely with the Electoral Commission on the implementation of canvass reform. Canvass reform will lead to new requirements for canvass forms. We understand the EC intends to undertake user testing on the new forms, with a view to making sure the forms are as clear as possible for the citizen.
The Electoral Commission has worked with the Behavioural Insight Team on certain forms of registration correspondence. Information is available here: https://www.behaviouralinsights.co.uk/trial-results/improving-the-annual-electoral-canvass/
EROs are free to offer a range of ways to respond to a Higher Education Framework. Currently, many EROs offer text message, online and paper-based response methods. As part of canvass reform, we intend to with EROs and the Electoral Commission to make sure it is as easy as possible for citizens to respond to requests for information from their local ERO.