Election staff

We're currently recruiting temporary election staff to work as poll clerks and count assistants at local and national elections.

All election staff receive full training before polling day.

Poll Clerks

Poll clerks work with a polling station presiding officer to ensure voting follows proper procedure.

On election day, poll clerks work from 6.30am to 10.30pm without leaving the polling station. Duties include lifting and moving equipment, including polling booths and tables.

Poll clerks need to be literate, numerate and able to work calmly under pressure. Clerks should also have the use of a car.

Payment for poll clerks changes from election to election, but successful applicants receive additional payment for training.

Count Assistants

Our count assistants verify and count the votes cast at an election.

Count assistants need to arrive at the count venue at 9.30pm on the day of an election and work until the results have been declared.

Payment for count assistants changes from election to election.

How to apply

Before completing our online application form, please note:

  • the council has a duty to check you're entitled to work in the UK - you'll need to provide your National Insurance number and either your original passport or other relevant supporting information
  • if you claim benefits, your payment for working at the election may affect your benefit claim - you should consult your benefits office before accepting an offer of employment
  • you cannot apply if you work on behalf of a political party or candidate at an election, or are related to a prospective election candidate
  • successful applicants consent to work in excess of the maximum working hours. For security reasons, election staff cannot leave a polling station or the count before completion

Apply to work at the elections


Poll clerk

Poll clerks assist the Presiding Officer in the conduct of the ballot in the polling stations.

The role

To assist the Presiding Officer in carrying out the following:

  • comply with any instructions from the Returning Officer
  • ensure all electors are treated impartially and with respect
  • maintain the secrecy of the ballot


Before Election Day:

  • complete training sessions and, where requested, attend briefings provided by the Electoral Services office

Election Day:

Assist the Presiding Officer to carry out the following:

  • erect polling booths (involves lifting)
  • prepare the polling station for the opening of poll
  • keep the polling station neat and tidy
  • check and mark electors’ electoral numbers in the register of electors and on the corresponding numbers lists. Issue ballot papers to voters
  • ensure voters cast votes in secret and put ballot papers into the correct ballot box
  • be polite and professional when dealing with all visitors to the polling station and remain impartial at all times
  • any other polling station duties, as instructed by Presiding Officer

Close of Poll:

  • help in the dismantling of the polling station and ensure the building is returned to good order.

Poll clerks work a 16-hour day, so you must provide your own refreshments and take appropriate breaks throughout the day to avoid tiredness. Polling station staff cannot leave the premises during hours of poll. 

The Returning Officer cannot employ anyone who is/or has carried out duties on behalf of any political party or candidate at the election. 

All staff will be required to sign an agreement to maintain the secrecy of the poll.

Count assistant

The count team opens ballot boxes and ensures the contents of the boxes agree with the ballot paper accounts before counting the votes for each election candidate.

Count assistant duties, while not difficult, require the ability to work in a pressurized environment while taking the greatest of care to ensure mistakes are not made.

The Role

  • attend training (if required)
  • to maintain the secrecy of the ballot
  • act impartially at all times and respect the confidentiality of the material handled
  • refrain from engaging in conversations with candidates, agents, councillors or guests


Count assistants work in teams, as designated by the Returning Officer.

As directed by a Count Supervisor, assistants: 

  • verify the contents of the ballot boxes
  • count the number of ballot papers in a ballot box
  • recount (if required)
  • divide ballot paper into votes for individual candidates and count them using the method designated by the Returning Officer
  • recount (if required)

The length of time a count takes depends on the size and nature of the election, and whether recounts are required. You must be prepared to stay as long as it takes and may wish to bring your own food. Normally, the count takes place immediately after the close of poll. You will start working late into the evening and potentially into the early hours of the morning. You will be given adequate breaks and refreshments will be provided.

The Returning Officer is not permitted to employ anyone who is/or has carried out duties on behalf of any political party or candidate at the election. All staff will be required to sign an agreement to maintain the secrecy of the poll.