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Employment opportunities at elections


Other employment opportunities - Various Council Office venues and locations

Postal Vote Opener

The Postal Vote Team assist in the opening and processing of returned postal voting ballot packs. Postal Vote opening sessions will commence in the 2 weeks prior to the election and will continue up to the evening of the election. As part of a team, you will be offered work over a number of sessions that will be arranged in advance.

Details of the job

Post title: Postal Vote Opening Assistant
Hours: Variable
Location: To Be Confirmed
Reports to: Postal Vote Manager / Elections Manager
Service area: Electoral Services – Corporate Services
Car Allowance: Not applicable to this role

Overall purpose of the job

The purpose of the Postal Vote Opening Team is to ensure that all returned postal vote packs are opened and verified in a secure method as designated by the Returning Officer. Please note, votes for individual candidates are not counted as part of this process.

The role of the Postal Vote Opening Assistant is not difficult, but the greatest of care must be taken to ensure that errors are not made. Prior to each session, the Postal Vote Manager will provide a brief to colleagues that will detail how the session is to be conducted in accordance with the method designated by the Returning Officer.

Main accountabilities

  • to attend and successfully complete all training provided
  • to be at the postal vote opening centre on time and attend the brief prior to the commencement of the postal vote opening session
  • receive, open and check the contents of Postal Vote envelopes and tally the number of ballots
  • to work in teams as allocated by the Postal Vote Manager/Supervisor
  • ensure that team tables are kept clear and tidy during the opening process
  • act impartially and politically neutral at all times, be polite and professional but not engage in debate with any candidates or agents that may be observing the opening session
  • ensure that the requirements for secrecy and security are observed

Further information

This post may involve unsociable hours, for which a higher rate of pay will be applicable.

You may be required to perform additional duties not listed above which are appropriate and commensurate to your role and experience, ensuring the smooth running of the election process. Job descriptions can be amended at the organisations discretion to ensure service needs are met.

The Returning Officer is not permitted to employ anyone who is/or has carried out duties on behalf of any political party or candidate at the election. All staff will be required to sign an agreement to maintain the secrecy of the poll.

Knowledge, qualifications and experience

  • previous election experience or understanding of the election process would be considered an advantage

Skills and abilities

  • good communication skills
  • ability to follow strict procedures and instructions as directed by the Postal Vote Supervisor
  • good personal presentation
  • good administration skills, accuracy, and attention to detail
  • a team player with a flexible attitude
  • punctual and reliable
  • able to assist in the setup of equipment. Following manual handling guidance


  • must not have worked in support of a political party and/or candidate at the election, whether paid or unpaid. Postal Vote opening staff must also refrain from signing any candidate’s nomination papers for this election or standing as a candidate themselves
  • must not have been convicted of an offence under Electoral Legislation
  • acceptance and adherence to the terms of the Statement of Secrecy
  • be aged 18 years or over
  • must be able to provide evidence of Right to Work in the UK prior to commencement of employment


Every year we must contact every residential property in the West Northamptonshire Council area. We provide each property with an extract of their properties entry in the current Register of Electors. Residents have the opportunity to make corrections, amendments or updates that they may have forgotten to do. For example, a change of name, change of occupant etc. The overall aim of the canvass is to ensure that the revised Register of Electors, published each December, is as accurate and complete as possible.

When we fail to receive a response from a property, we will arrange for a canvasser to visit the property to make contact and where possible collect the outstanding information. You are not expected to register individuals, but you will be able to sign post electors who are not yet registered to the channels where they can get registered. Canvassing usually occurs between September to November, dependent on the timetable that is in place for that year.

Details of the job

Post Title: Electoral Registration Canvasser
Hours: Variable – Daytime/Evenings and Weekends
Location: Various locations within WNC district
Reports to: Elections Manager
Service area: Electoral Services – Corporate Services
Mileage Allowance: Yes

Purpose of the job

To assist the Electoral Registration Officer with the annual compilation of the Register of Electors. In accordance with current legislation, you will be required to visit assigned properties within a designated area of West Northamptonshire and make attempts to obtain a completed Canvass Form either via Mobile Tablet or Paper, dependent on allocation of round.

Canvassers are required to work in their own time and for the best response, evening and weekend work is required.

Main accountabilities

  • visiting each non-responding household within a designated timescale to collect/complete Canvass Form(s) and to check they are fully completed and signed
  • returning any completed Canvass Forms collected and providing information to Electoral Services at regular intervals
  • canvass will be completed by either paper forms or using the registration software which is loaded onto a WNC issued electronic tablet device
  • advising electors on the completion of the Canvass Forms
  • to inform the Elections Manager of any new residential properties which may not be listed on the Electoral Register
  • to attend a training session covering all aspects of an Electoral Registration Canvasser’s duties
  • to ensure confidentiality is respected and maintained at all times and all personal data is securely held
  • to comply with any procedures and policies outlined by the Electoral Registration Officer which will include Health and Safety, Data protection and Equal Opportunities
  • to adhere to deadlines set by the Electoral Registration Officer
  • the Elections Manager has the right to revoke and terminate your appointment at any time if they believe you are not fulfilling the role and duties of the canvasser. If your appointment is terminated, you must return all equipment immediately

Knowledge, qualifications and experience

  • basic numeracy, literacy and IT skills
  • access to transport, if necessary, to meet the geographic requirements of the post. If personal or car hire is used, this must be insured for business purpose
  • experience of working with customers or members of the public

Skills and abilities

  • ability to work to and meet deadlines
  • the ability to work independently and work on your own initiative
  • ability to use tact and discretion when dealing with the public
  • basic organisational skills
  • well-developed oral communication skills, including an ability to effectively communicate with members of the public
  • professional and politically neutral manner
  • ability to treat personal data with an appropriate level of security

Last updated 23 October 2023