Polling staff job descriptions

The role of the polling place team is to ensure voters are able to cast their vote in secret, free from influence and in a calm atmosphere.

Polling Places are open from 7am to 10pm.

  • on Polling Day staff are required to arrive by 6.30am to ensure set up is completed for the 7am opening
  • at larger polling places, set-up will be carried out the night before poll
  • in order to maintain the secrecy of the vote and safeguard the integrity of the process, staff are not permitted to leave the premises during hours of poll
  • you must provide your own refreshments for the day
  • all poll staff must complete/attend training in advance of polling day

Fees for each election are set by the Returning Officer and will be subject to income tax.  Payment will be made as soon as practicable after the date of the election.

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.


No. 1 Presiding Officer

The No. 1 Presiding Officer has overall responsibility of a Polling Place with more than one Polling Station.  This is in addition to the duties of a Presiding Officer (PO) below.  This will usually be someone with several years of experience as a PO.

Presiding Officer

  • collect ballot box/paperwork/equipment from the Election Team the day before polling day
  • organise, and responsible for, the set-up and layout of the polling place
  • account for and be responsible for all the ballot papers, paperwork and ballot boxes
  • check voters’ photo id (UK Parliamentary Election)
  • issue ballot papers to voters, ensuring they are placed in the correct ballot box
  • ensure signage and statutory notices are visible and remain in place throughout polling day
  • act impartially at all times and maintain the secrecy of the ballot
  • provide assistance to voters where appropriate
  • deal with special voting procedures
  • instruct and supervise the work of Poll Clerks
  • receive postal votes delivered by voters
  • at close of poll, responsible for the ballot box(es)/paperwork/equipment until collected

Poll Clerk

  • assist with polling station set-up and prepare for the opening of poll
  • assist Presiding Officer
  • check voters’ photo ID (UK Parliamentary Election)
  • check electors are eligible to vote in that polling station
  • act impartially at all times and maintain the secrecy of the ballot
  • answer voters’ questions, where appropriate, in a friendly/business-like way
  • act as Information Officer assisting voters, in larger polling places, with finding the correct polling station
  • at close of poll, help in the dismantling of the polling place and ensuring the building is returned in good order

Download the application form to apply