Election jobs

Presiding officer

Presiding officers are responsible for the conduct of the ballot in the polling stations and they must have a good knowledge of the voting procedures.

The role:

  • Comply with any instructions from the Returning Officer
  • To take charge of the polling station
  • To ensure that all electors are treated impartially and with respect
  • To maintain the secrecy of the ballot
  • To supervise the poll clerk(s) at the polling station


Before polling day:

  • Where applicable, attend training sessions and briefings provided by the electoral services office
  • Liaise with contact person for designated polling station well before polling day to confirm arrangements for key collection/opening and closing the building
  • Visit the polling station to ensure polling day arrangements are in place
  • In a multiple polling station, make contact with other presiding officer(s)
  • Make contact with poll clerk(s) to check travel arrangements to and from polling station and to brief poll clerks on the necessary procedures
  • Collect the ballot box and contents before the poll and keep secure

Polling day

  • Transport ballot box and contents to polling station
  • Erect polling booths. This involves some lifting
  • Organise the layout of the polling station taking all voter needs into account
  • Be aware of access issues at the polling station
  • Be responsible for health and safety at the polling station for all staff and visitors
  • Ensure the polling station is opened on time
  • Ensure that all signs and instructions are clear, visible and remain in place
  • Keep the polling station neat and tidy.
  • Instruct and supervise the work of the poll clerk(s)
  • Account for, and be responsible for, all ballot papers, issued and un-issued
  • Check and mark electors’ electoral numbers in the register of electors and on the corresponding numbers lists
  • Issue ballot papers to voters
  • Ensure that voters cast their votes in secret and put them into the (correct) ballot box
  • Provide assistance to voters where appropriate
  • Receive postal votes delivered by hand.
  • Manage the attendance of those entitled to be present in the polling station, for example, candidates, agents, representatives of the Electoral Commission and observers, and ensure they do not interfere with the voting process
  • Be polite and professional when dealing with all visitors to the polling station and remain impartial at all times
  • Monitor the activities of tellers outside polling places

Close of poll

  • Ensure the polling station is closed on time
  • Supervise the dismantling of the polling station and ensure the building is returned to good order
  • Complete the ballot paper account and associated paperwork; pack up documents in accordance with instructions given by Returning Officer
  • Deliver the Ballot Box and associated paperwork to the Count location as designated by the Returning Officer.  You will be working a 16 hour day, so you must provide your own refreshments and take appropriate breaks throughout the day to avoid tiredness. Polling station staff are not permitted to leave the premises during hours of poll

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 their agreement to maintain the secrecy of the poll.

Last updated: 24/08/2017 08:51