Our Electoral Services team relies on a number of internal and external staff to assist with the running of elections and electoral services within the borough.

The department holds a database of staff that is used to make appointments. We are always happy to hear from people that would be interested in working during elections.

There are a various times in the electoral calendar where we will be recruiting to aid electoral services.

Apply for a role

To be considered for a canvass or election staff member, you must fill in and complete the application form and email to election.staff@hertsmere.gov.uk

It is not possible for our office to acknowledge all applications. Any application not completed in full will be disregarded so please fill in carefully. Should you be a successful candidate for a role, we will be in touch with you directly.

We often receive more applications than there are roles available so it may not be possible to appoint you. If you are not appointed but still a successful candidate, we may place you on our reserve list and contact you should a role become available.

If employed, you will not be an employee of Hertsmere Borough Council but the Returning Officer who is the individual in charge of administering an election. The employment is on a temporary basis and does not mean you will be guaranteed a role at the next election.


Working as a canvasser

The annual canvass is the process of updating the electoral register. Every year, we must ensure that our register is as complete and accurate as it should be.

Household registration forms are delivered to all properties during the canvass. We recruit for people to visit the households that haven't responded to encourage a response by either helping to complete the canvass at the door or communication that they can do it online.

A canvass area of Hertsmere would be allocated to you along with the appropriate equipment to help carry out the canvass duties.

To be right for this role you will need to:

  • be honest and trustworthy;
  • have good communication skills, able to communicate with customers in a calm, polite, patient and tactful manner;
  • be able to work in a politically neutral manner; and
  • adhere to strict guidance regarding handling and storing of personal data and confidentiality.

You will receive full training for this role and guidance. If you are interested in applying for this role, please see the full job description and the application form at the bottom of the page.

Working an election

There are a variety of roles available at each election, although some are only suitable for experienced staff therefore not listed below.

Poll Clerks:  

Poll Clerks work in polling stations on election day. They issue ballot papers, provide information to electors and follow the directions of the Presiding Officer, who is in charge of the station..

Poll Clerks are required to work from 6am until 11pm on polling day. During the hours of poll, they may not leave the polling station unless the Presiding Officer allows otherwise. All Poll Clerks are required to undertake training prior to the election.

Payment of £255 plus £40 training fee (if all aspects of the role are completed)

Counting Assistants:

Counting Assistants work as part of a team to count votes following the close of poll.

Count timings can vary. Some take place on the night of the election and can continue into the early morning or the next day. Other counts take place the day(s) following the poll.

Counting Assistants’ hours vary depending on the hours of the count. Counting Assistants are paid a flat fee for the count which is worked out based on the maximum time.

Postal Vote Assistants:

Postal Vote Assistants work as part of a team to open envelopes and tally numbers of ballots received.

There are multiple postal vote opening sessions that take place before and during the day of the poll. They begin at 9:30am and the length of the sessions vary depending on the volume of postal votes received.

Job Descriptions

Canvasser (PDF, 12KB)

Poll Clerk (PDF, 142KB)

Presiding Officer (only available to previous Presiding Officer's or Poll Clerk's stepping up to the position)

Counting Assistant (PDF, 12KB)

Counting Supervisor (only available to previous Counting Supervisor's)

Postal Vote Assistant (PDF, 11KB)


To work on elections, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Able to show proof of entitlement to work in the UK (a valid passport or other suitable documents)

Political restrictions and required behaviour:

Election staff are required to sign a code of conduct and a copy of the Requirement of Secrecy Act. Election staff must maintain political neutrality throughout the election period, both in-person and online. The secrecy of the poll must be maintained throughout.

Elections staff must not be politically active during the elections period. Staff must not:

  • Sign a nomination paper for any candidate
  • Be a relative of a candidate
  • Express their own political opinions either in person or online, which includes social media
  • Work or campaign on behalf of a candidate or party, including unpaid work

Working hours and rights to a break:

Election roles can involve a long work day and hours can exceed normal working hours. It can be difficult, or not possible in some roles, to take breaks as normal.

Election staff must sign contracts opting out of the Working Time Directive (which enforces maximum working hours) for the period of the election.