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Working at an election

How to register your interest to work at an election.

There are two main groups of staff needed at an election. We have explained both of these in more detail below.

Polling staff

The Presiding Officer has the overall responsibility for the polling station and carries out a supervisory role. The Poll Clerk assists the Presiding Officer to conduct the ballot.

On election day, staff are required to arrive at the polling station by 6.15am to set up the equipment. Staff are not permitted to leave the premises during polling hours in order to maintain the secrecy of the vote. The poll closes at 10pm.

All polling staff have to complete an online training session before polling day. In addition, Presiding Officers will need to attend a 30-minute briefing and be able to transport the ballot boxes to and from the polling station.

Count staff

The Count Supervisor is responsible for the accurate completion of the count records for the verification of the ballot boxes, the aggregation of the votes and the final production of the count summary statement. The Count Assistant counts the number of ballot papers in the ballot boxes.

Counts can take place either immediately after the close of poll overnight or on the following days. There is no fixed time for how long a count will take, as it depends if re-counts are needed. However, it is not unusual for a count to take up to eight hours.

Please note: Only individuals who have the right to work in the UK can work at elections and we'll require proof of your right to work. 

It is an offence to simultaneously work for a political party or candidate and for the Returning Officer. If you are not sure if you are eligible to work at elections, please contact the Elections Team at before you apply.

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