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Apply to work at an election

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For each election or referendum, we employ staff to work with us for roles such as:

  • polling clerks
  • presiding officers
  • verification and count assistants

No experience is necessary for some positions but to apply for a presiding officer position you need previous experience as a poll clerk.

How to apply

You do not need to work for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council to work in elections.

To apply for any role, you will need to:

  • be over 18 years old
  • be entitled to work in the UK
  • not work on behalf of a candidate during the election campaign
  • decide what your preferred roles are
  • give us your contact details

Application forms and proof of your right to work in the UK can be sent to us by:


There are a variety of roles available at each election. 

Presiding officer

Presiding officers are responsible for the management of the polling station and supervision of the work carried out by the poll clerk(s). The duties include:

  • completing official paperwork
  • opening and closing the polling station
  • transporting the ballot box after the polling station closes.

You will also be responsible for making sure that voters are able to cast their vote in secret, free from influence.

Hours of working would be 6:30am to 10:30pm on polling day. You will not be able to leave the polling station during these hours.

Poll clerk

As a poll clerk your job would be to assist the presiding officer throughout the day. Duties include:

  • issuing ballot papers
  • marking the register
  • opening and closing the polling station

Training will be provided. Hours of working would be 6:30am to 10:30pm on polling day. You will not be able to leave the polling station during these hours.

Verification and count assistant

We employ staff to assist in counting the votes. This takes place either:

  • after the polling stations have closed (on the night of election) and continues into the early hours of the following morning
  • a day after the election

This role requires high levels of concentration and accuracy.

Politically impartial

If you are appointed to work, it is important you remain politically impartial when you are working at the election. This means you cannot publicly show your support for a particular political party or candidate in any way.

Rates of pay

The rates of pay for election staff can vary depending on the role and the type of election.

Our 2024 rates are:

Role Pay
Presiding officer £333.20
Poll clerk £224
Count staff (day rate) £13 per hour
Count staff (overnight rate) up to £19.50 per hour

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