Employment at elections

Applying to work for the elections team

Have you ever thought of getting involved at election time by either working at a polling station or at the count? Our Elections Team is always looking for new people to help us, and would love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming involved.


You must be at least 16 years of age to work in a polling station staff or as a counting assistant. You must also be entitled to work in the UK (in accordance with the provisions of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996).

  • If successful, prior to taking up your appointment, you must provide evidence of your eligibility to work in the UK by showing us either:
    • Your valid passport, or
    • Your birth certificate and proof of National Insurance Number (for example,  P60, P45, payslip)
  • Staff employed at elections must not work on behalf of a candidate during an election campaign, nor be related to a prospective candidate
  • Polling and count staff must consent to working in excess of the normal working hours provided for by the Working Time Directive

Have you got what it takes to join us?

We are always looking to recruit motivated and dynamic staff to fill any vacancies that occur. A brief description of the jobs available is as follows:

Polling Staff

The polling station staff are appointed by the Returning Officer, and are responsible for the conduct of the ballot, making sure that the proper procedures for voting are followed. The role of polling station staff is to ensure that voters are able to cast their vote in secret, free from influence and in a calm atmosphere. On the day of the election, polling station staff must be on duty from 6.30am until shortly after 10pm. Polling station staff are not permitted to leave the premises during the hours of poll.

All staff employed to work at a polling station must attend a training session before taking up their appointment.

Presiding Officers

Presiding Officers are responsible for conduct in their polling station and must have a good knowledge of the voting procedures. As a Presiding Officer you will be responsible for complying with all instructions and ensuring the integrity and secrecy of the ballot. You will assign work to the Poll Clerk(s), ensuring the accuracy of the poll and account for all of the ballot papers. You will be responsible for collecting and delivering your ballot box and you may have responsibility for ensuring your polling building is open and closed on the day.

Poll Clerks

As Poll Clerk you will assist the Presiding Officer to run a polling station. You will help to set up polling station equipment, assist in the issue of ballot papers to members of the public, mark the electoral register and assist in the accurate completion of paperwork.

Polling Station Inspectors

Polling Station Inspectors undertake a vital role on polling day in ensuring that the poll runs smoothly. Similar to the role of polling station staff, you will be on duty for the duration of the polling hours and will be required to visit polling places and carry out inspections/duties as directed by the Returning Officer during polling day.  You may also be asked to receipt ballot boxes after the close of poll at one of the collection points in your area.  

Processing Postal Votes

Staff employed by the Council are required to assist the Postal Votes Team with the opening and verifying of returned postal voting ballot packs in the Dingwall Council Offices.  Work is available over a number of sessions during office hours starting around ten days before an election and running up until the night of polling day. This may include weekends and bank holidays. You will be required to work as part of a team and can indicate which sessions you are available to work.

The Count

Verification usually takes place after the polls close (10pm on polling day), with the actual counting of votes either later that evening, or the following morning. The Count is usually held in Dingwall, but depending on the type of elections.  Every person attending the count will be required to maintain the secrecy of voting.  Count staff employed will be expected to attend a training session.

Ballot Box Reception and Runners are employed to receipt the ballot boxes that are returned after the close of poll and issue to the appropriate count zone.

Accountants are responsible for reconciling ballot papers accounts and counted votes.

Counting Supervisors and Assistants are employed to verify and count the votes cast at polling stations, together with the postal votes received in the run-up to polling day.

Mixing and Counted Votes Team are responsible for batching and accounting for all the ballot papers received.

Unused Votes Team are employed to verify the number of unused ballot papers in each polling station.

Miscellaneous Duties

The Election Office require staff outwith office hours to assist with the preparing of stationery packs, ballot box filling, setting up and dismantling of the count centre. 

Rates of Pay 

The rates of pay for electon staff vary depending on  the job role and the type of poll,  All fees are subject to tax and will be reviewed each year. Mileage allowance will be paid on applicable posts.

Further Information 

Any work carried out for the elections office is subject to the Secrecy Requirements.

If you require any further information, please telephone  01349 886657  or email election@highland.gov.uk

How to apply

Please complete the application form below.  

Apply for employment at an election

Submitting an application form is not a guarantee of employment, we will keep your details on our records and contact you before the next election. 

Read about how we store your personal data


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