Poll clerk job description

Polling station staff are appointed by the returning officer and are responsible for making sure that the proper procedures for voting are followed. They ensure that voters are able to vote in secret whilst maintaining a COVID-secure environment. All staff employed to work at a polling station must complete the following:

online polling station training session to learn about the polling day processes followed by an online quiz. (approximately 1.5 hours depending on how many questions are asked in each session).

online training on how to use the polling station iPads (approximately 1.5 hours depending on how many questions are asked in each session).

Polling station opening hours

Polling Stations will be open for voting from 7am until 10pm. Polling Station staff must be able to report to their polling station by 6:15 am at the latest and will be on duty until the polling station has been cleared up shortly after 10pm. Although there will be opportunities for refreshment breaks, if you accept a role at a polling station you are consenting to working during the hours of poll without a rest break and in excess of the maximum working hours provided by the Working Time Directive

You must make your own arrangements for refreshments and meals as you are not permitted to leave the polling station premises during your working hours.

Poll clerk duties

Poll clerks assist the presiding officer in the conduct of the ballot. Poll clerks need to comply with any instructions from the presiding officer, deal with electors and maintain the secrecy of the ballot.

Their main duties are:

  • Attend the relevant training sessions.
  • Help set up the polling station under the direction of the presiding officer (this may involve some lifting).
  • Follow the instructions given to use the iPads provided at the polling station to record that an elector has voted.
  • Issue ballot papers to electors.
  • Help presiding officers to ensure the polling station is open promptly at 7am
  • Conform to the any arrangements in place to maintain a COVID secure working environment.
  • Ensure that voters are able to cast their vote in secret.
  • Be polite and professional when dealing with electors and other visitors.
  • Work as part of a team.
  • Keep the polling station tidy.
  • Help to dismantle the polling station and ensure the room is returned to good order as per the instructions of the presiding officer.
  • Any other duties as instructed by the presiding officer.

Person specification






A basic understanding of the election process

Previous election experience

Previous customer service experience

Skills and personal attributes

Skills and personal attributes



Good communication skills

Good personal presentation

A commitment to customer care

Good administration skills and attention to detail

Ability to carry out work as instructed, even under pressure

A team player and flexible attitude

Calm under pressure

Punctual and reliable

Able to lift polling booths/ballot boxes etc





Must not have worked in support of a political party/candidate at the election (whether paid or unpaid)

Be willing to attend a training session

Must not have been convicted of an offence under electoral legislation

Acceptance of waiving of Working Time Directive for period of employment


In return, you can expect

Full training in your role and responsibilities

Full written instructions

All stationery and equipment to carry out your duties

Regular visits on polling day from a deputy returning officer or polling station inspector

Direct-line contact to the elections office who will advise on any contentious issues

Contact details for your colleagues

Estimated work commitment

  • 3 hours training in advance
  • 16 hours on polling day


Training: £42.50 (on completion of iPad training and Arun training)

Polling Day: £187 Gross amount.

Travel: 45p per mile for car journeys (non-taxable).


All staff employed by the returning officer must be absolutely impartial and must not canvass for, assist or openly support a candidate or political party at election time.

Other information

All staff will be required to sign an agreement to maintain the secrecy of the poll.

If you are an employee of Arun District Council you must ensure you have your line manager’s permission to carry out election duties during your working hours.