Charnwood Borough Council is seeking to employ staff to work the local elections that will be taking place in May 2023 and will therefore require staff to be at each of the polling stations across the borough.

The roles are for a very short period of time around during the elections, ranging from a few hours up to a few days at most.

The minimum age for all roles is 18 years of age, and although most vacancies do not require experience, they do require commitment. All appointed staff will be required to sign their agreement to maintain the secrecy of the ballot and must not work on behalf of a candidate during an election campaign or be related to a prospective candidate.

All roles are paid. However, the rate of pay changes for every election and is yet to be confirmed. We will confirm with applicants as soon as we have the information.

To apply for any of the roles, please complete the online form on the working at elections webpage:

Apply for an elections role

A description of the roles available can be found below. If you have any further questions, please email electoral.services@charnwood.gov.uk or consult the frequently asked questions webpage.

Roles available

Polling station staff

Polling Station Staff are responsible for the running of the polling station, issuing of ballot papers and maintaining the secrecy of the ballot. The presiding officer manages the polling station on polling day and is responsible for the ballot box. The poll clerk(s) assist the presiding officer and are the front-facing staff on the day.

All polling station staff are required to:

  • Attend a mandatory training session prior to polling day.
  • Be present at the polling station on polling day from 6.30am until close of poll at 10pm. It may be agreed that you will arrive earlier to set up depending on individual circumstances.
  • Arrange their own transport to and from the polling station.
  • Arrange their own postal or proxy vote should they be appointed to a polling station at which they do not usually vote.
  • Ensure all voters are treated impartially and with respect.
  • Maintain the secrecy of the ballot at all times.

Presiding officer

Pay = £250 (20% uplift if election is combined)

Duties:

  • Follow all instructions given by the Returning Officer.
  • Liaise with contacts to arrange access to the polling station in advance.
  • In a ‘split’ or ‘double’ polling station, liaise with the other presiding officer(s).
  • Visit the polling station in advance.
  • Collect the ballot box before polling day and keep it secure.
  • Organise the layout of the polling station (may require some manual lifting).
  • Instruct and supervise the poll clerk(s).
  • Supervise the marking of the register and issuing of ballot papers to voters.
  • Supervise the dismantling of the polling station at the close of poll.
  • Deliver the ballot box and associated paperwork to the Count Centre.

As this position requires significant responsibility, you must have considerable experience as a poll clerk at least. You must also have transport and access to a mobile phone for use on the day.

Poll clerk

Pay = £173.25 (20% uplift if election is combined)

Duties:

  • Follow instructions given by the Presiding Officer and the Returning Officer.
  • Set up the polling station (may require some manual lifting).
  • Ensure the polling station is neat and tidy at all times.
  • Check and mark the polling station register.
  • Issue ballot papers to voters.
  • Ensure voters may cast their vote in secret.
  • Help to dismantle, clean and ensure the polling station is returned to good order.

No experience is required for this position and full training will be given in advance.

Postal vote openers

Pay = £12 per hour

Postal vote openers are employed in the days leading up to election day and are responsible for opening, checking and preparing completed postal votes for verification and counting after the close of poll. While this role does not require prior experience, it does require commitment and flexibility as sessions may vary in length or may be cancelled at short notice.

Duties:

  • Preferably attend all sessions, including a session held after the close of poll at 10pm on polling day.
  • Ensure the secrecy of the ballot at all times.
  • Open and check contents of postal vote envelopes.
  • Count and tally ballot papers statements and ballot papers received.
  • Working under scrutiny from candidates and agents.

Postal vote openers are employed on an hourly basis on days and times designated by the Returning Officer. These days are usually over the two weeks leading up to polling day. If there are more postal votes received than expected on the run up to the election it may be necessary to arrange additional postal vote opening dates.

Count staff

Count staff are responsible for verifying and counting all ballot papers after the close of poll. Count staff work in teams with a supervisor who will provide a short briefing before the count begins. While prior experience is not required, duties are undertaken in a pressurised environment and require speed and accuracy.

The duties of the count staff are split into three roles: ballot box handlers, overnight count assistants and daytime count assistants. The length of time you will be required to work may vary depending on the type and turnout of the election.

Ballot box handlers

Duties:

  • Attend the verification of the ballot papers at the close of poll.
  • Run ballot boxes, sacks of unused ballot papers and equipment from cars into the count centre.
  • Direct and supervise queuing presiding officers.
  • Transport ballot boxes from the ballot box receipt desk to count supervisors.

Overnight count assistants

Pay = £15.75 per hour (4 hours pay is guaranteed regardless of count length) (NB night time runs from 9.30pm to 8am)

Duties:

  • Attend the verification of the ballot papers at the close of poll.
  • Ensure all ballot papers received from the polling stations are accounted for.
  • Work into the early hours of the morning if required.
  • Work accurately under scrutiny of candidates and agents.

Please note: Due to the hours of working, we will not accept applications for overnight count assistants from under-18s.

Daytime count assistants

Pay = £10.50 per hour (4 hours pay is guaranteed regardless of count length)

Duties:

  • Attend the counting of ballot papers after polling day.
  • Divide ballot papers into votes for individual candidates and count.
  • Recount where required.
  • Work accurately under scrutiny of candidates and agents.

Frequently asked questions about working the 2023 local elections

Last updated: Thu 12th January, 2023 @ 15:07