Only people who have signed up to the Electoral Roll will be allowed to vote in this Election.
(Voters – even if you have voted in past Elections, you need to sign up again this time! You have until Friday 21 August to do so. You can do so online via the Elections website.)
You only have a limited amount of time to get your message across to people in the month between nominations opening and Election Day, so you will probably want to concentrate your efforts on people who are actually able to vote.
This matters less if the majority of your campaigning happens online. If you’re putting information out in a public forum, it’ll be accessed by people who aren’t voters and people who are, and that’s fine – it doesn’t cost you anything extra in terms of time or effort.
If you are answering emails, I would just take people at face value and assume they are potential voters. You’ll waste more time in a back-and-forth email exchange – “can you tell me if you’re on the Electoral Roll before I answer your questions?” – than if you just get on with it and answer them.
(If it turns out they’re not on the role, just chalk it up as useful practice! Other voters will have the same kind of questions, and you’ll have spent a bit of time knocking your thoughts into shape in order to reply to this person.)
Knowing whether or not someone is on the Electoral Roll matters most if you’re planning on going door-to-door. Canvassing this way can be very time-consuming, so it matters that you focus the limited time you have on households that are actually signed up to vote.
You can do this by requesting a copy of the Electoral Roll when you submit your nomination. There’s more information in the official candidates’ guide. If you do this, you will essentially be receiving a set of 30,000 people’s contact details, and you will be responsible for keeping that safe in accordance with Data Protection requirements. (You mustn’t pass it on to anyone else, you mustn’t use it for anything other than canvassing, and you’re not entitled to keep it after the Election.)
If you are planning to canvass a particular street, you can use the Electoral Roll to check which of the houses on that street are home to a potential voter (or voters). You can then focus your time on knocking on those doors, rather than stopping at every door and just hoping for the best!