Our Electoral Services team relies on a number of internal and external staff to assist with the running of elections 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 variety of roles available at each election, although some are only suitable for experienced staff.

Election roles:

Polling Clerks:  

Polling Clerks work in polling stations on election day. They issue ballot papers, provide information to electors and assist the Presiding Officer, who is in charge of the station, as required.

Polling Clerks are required to work from 6:30am until 10:30pm on polling day. During the hours of poll, they may not leave the polling station unless the presiding officer allows otherwise. All Polling Clerks are required to undertake training prior to the election.

Polling Clerk job description.

Polling Station Marshalls:

Polling Station Marshalls are being introduced for the 2021 elections to help ensure that our polling stations are Covid secure, safe places to vote.

Polling Station Marshalls will greet electors, manage queues, encourage social distancing and distribute masks and hand sanitiser. Marshalls will be provided with PPE and reflective clothing.

Polling Station Marshalls will work one of two shifts: 6:30am-2:30pm or 2:30pm-10:30pm. They may not leave the polling station during their shift and will be expected to work outside. All Polling Station Marshalls are required to undertake training prior to the election.

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, but if it continues into anti-social hours (2am onwards) they are paid an additional fee per hour.

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 are usually held during normal office hours and the length of the sessions vary depending on the volume of postal votes received.


To work on elections, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old (with the exception of Polling Station Marshalls, who must be at least 17 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.

Applying for a role:

If you are interested in a role, please complete the application form below and send it to election.staff@hertsmere.gov.uk stating the role(s) you wish to apply for. Electoral Services can be contacted on 020 8207 2277.

Application form for elections staff.

It is not possible for our office to acknowledge all applications. We will be in contact if we require more information or are able to offer you a role. Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing, we require all staff to complete risk assessments which will require the disclosure of your personal medical information. Please be advised that the completion of a risk assessment is compulsory for all staff. We cannot appoint staff who do not complete a risk assessment.

We will look at your experience and where you live when considering appointments.

We often receive more applications than there are roles available so it may not be possible to appoint you. If you are not appointed, 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.