Election and Canvass Staffing Vacancies

Applying to work for the Electoral Services Team 

Have you ever thought of getting involved at election time by either working at a polling station, opening postal votes or at the count?

We are always looking for new people to help us, and would like to hear from you if you are interested in becoming involved. If you have some spare time, over about a 3-month period to deliver property forms and/or to go door-knocking as part of the annual canvass of households, are able to dedicate a full day to work at a polling station or to join the team at the election count, please contact us.

We maintain a database of staff who we write to annually prior to main elections asking about your availability.



You must be at least 18 years of age to work in a polling station staff or assist with the annual canvass, whereas you need only be 16 years of age to work as a counting assistant. You must also be entitled to work in the UK (in accordance with the provisions of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996).

If successful, prior to taking up your appointment, you must provide evidence of your eligibility to work in the UK by showing us either:
your valid passport, or
your birth certificate and proof of National Insurance Number (eg. P60, P45, payslip, etc.)

Polling, postal and count staff must not work on behalf of a candidate during an election campaign, nor be related to a prospective candidate.
Polling, postal and count staff must consent to working in excess of the normal working hours provided for by the Working Time Directive.
All appointments are directly for the Returning Officer or the Electoral Registration Officer and not for the Council and are of a casual nature only.
We often have more applications than vacancies and we make it clear that if someone is not initially allocated for a post then they are added to our reserve list as we often have a number of initially allocated staff drop out for various reasons. We then call our reserves as appropriate vacancies arise. We do use a number of our own staff in the first instance and supplement this with additional staff from outside who we hold on our database of temporary staff. We then consider the person’s experience; availability; preferences; where they live or whether they have access to a car and are prepared to travel.

Electoral Services Casual Staff Application Form 


Postal Vote Opener

The role of a postal vote opener is to follow the postal vote opening process in a secure manner whilst maintaining the secrecy of the ballot. This process firstly involves counting into batches the number of postal votes that have been received that day to ensure a clear record is kept. These will then be verified before the postal vote openers open the envelopes and count the number of ballot papers received for each election. As these sessions will be carried out before the close of poll, ballots papers will be opened face down and so votes for candidates will not be visible and therefore are NOT counted as part of this process. Sessions will be held twice a day in the 2 weeks before the election.

2021 - Postal Vote Opener Job Description.pdf [pdf] 173KB


Polling station jobs - Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks

The polling station staff are appointed by the Returning Officer, and are responsible for the conduct of the ballot, making sure that the proper procedures for voting are followed. On the day of the election, polling station staff need to be at their venue by 6.15am and are on duty until shortly after 10pm. All staff employed to work at a polling station must attend a training session before taking up their appointment.


Covid-19 Arrangements

Ensuring the safety of our staff and electors is our top priority and we have therefore put in place the following arrangements. We will be providing staff with visors and /or masks and we have ordered full length Perspex screens to be used at the issuing table. We will be using iPads instead of paper Registers which can we wiped down between use, and we will be supplying antibacterial gel as well as cleaning materials for each station. Whilst we do not expect polling staff to complete a deep clean of the station, we will be expecting both poll clerks and presiding officers to carry out cleaning duties throughout the day, such as wiping down high contact areas and ensuring a clean supply of pencils for voters to use. We will also require staff to manage the queue system and social distancing and ensuring only 2 electors are in the polling station at any one time. We understand that this is in addition to the normal responsibilities you undertake at the polling station, so we appreciate if you do not wish to work for us on this occasion. To reflect the additional duties the fees will be increased by £25 each.

2021 Presiding Officer Job Description.pdf [pdf] 92KB

2021 Poll Clerk Job Description.pdf [pdf] 90KB


Counting Assistants

Counting assistants are employed to verify and count the votes cast at polling stations, together with the postal votes received in the run-up to polling day. Verification and the actual counting of votes takes place usually later that evening, or the following morning. This is usually held at the Arun Leisure Centre in Felpham, Bognor Regis.

Counting Assistant Job Description - will be available shortly


Other electoral jobs


Electoral Registration Form Deliverers & Canvassers

Form deliverers are employed to deliver electoral registration forms to every property in the District.

We then employ a group of canvassers to chase up non responders to the initial and reminder forms during the "door-knocking" stage.

All canvassers receive annual training.

We currently employ about 40 form deliverers/canvassers and vacancies sometimes occur and we hold a waiting list. If you are interested in doing either role, please write to the Electoral Services Team giving you contact details and the areas that you may be interested in.


Poll Card Deliverers

Duties would include delivery of poll cards to properties with eligible electors, usually around a month before an election. You would also be expected to deliver household enquiry forms to every household in the above areas.

Rate of pay per poll card is 20p. There is an arrangement for a 30% tax relief and you will only pay 20% tax on the remainder, National Insurance is not applicable.

If you are interested in any of the above positions and would like to have further details please contact the Electoral Services Team at  elections@arun.gov.uk with your name and address and we will come back to you.


Electoral Services

Arun District Council

Arun Civic Centre

Maltravers Road


West Sussex

BN17 5LF

General queries Helpline (01903) 737616

E-mail elections@arun.gov.uk