The Senedd election is scheduled to take place on Thursday 6 May and Returning Officers in local authorities are looking to fill a variety of roles (including Polls Clerks and Verification and Count Assistants) between 6 and 9 May.  These roles are likely to be combined with roles supporting the Police and Crime Commissioner elections, which are the responsibility of the UK Government.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the arrangements around the elections will need to be adapted and therefore there is a need for more support than usual to help manage COVID-19 related measures in polling stations, such as queue management, frequent cleansing of touch points, and count processes taking place over several days to comply with social distancing.

The changes being made for voters and electoral staff will be similar to those in workplaces and public spaces such as social distancing, masks worn by staff and voters (subject to valid reasons for exemption), hand sanitiser and regular cleaning.

You need to:

  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • be entitled to work in the UK;
  • agree to potentially work unsociable hours, or hours in excess of your normal working day;
  • remain politically neutral, and not be connected to, nor assist, any political party or candidate at the election; and
  • not have been convicted of an offence under Electoral Legislation

Roles

Local authorities are looking to fill a number of roles.  The main ones if you haven’t worked at a polling station before are:

Polling Clerk – responsible for the conduct of the ballot making sure the proper procedures for voting are followed.  Staff will be required to attend a training session in advance which will provide more detailed information on responsibilities.

On the day of the election, polling station staff need to be at their venue by just after 6am and are on duty until around 10-11pm. 

Verification and Counting Assistant – employed to verify and count the votes cast at polling stations. Again, more detailed information will be provided as part of a training session in advance of polling day

Verification and the actual counting of votes will not be undertaken overnight for the 2021 election.  Counting of votes will take place over a number of days with staff potentially required on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in various locations.

No prior experience of working at an election is required and there are no specific requirements (other than those set out above). However, good communication skills, working effectively as part of a team and attention to detail will all be important. In addition, for Verification and Count Assistants, good numeracy skills and accuracy will be key.

Local Authorities usually pay people who undertake these roles.  Specific arrangements vary between local authorities and more details will be made available when you contact your local Returning Officer.

Next Steps

You should contact your local Returning Officer directly and they will then liaise with you regarding arrangements.

Ceredigion County Council : electoralservices@ceredigion.gov.uk