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Polling Station Inspector

Details of the job

Post title: Polling Station Inspector
Hours: Variable
Location: Various locations within WNC District
Reports to: Elections Manager / Returning Officer
Service area: Electoral Services – Corporate Services
Mileage Allowance: Yes

Overall purpose of the job

Polling Station Inspectors play an important role in the effective management of the election and should be competent to deal with queries and problems arising at the polling station on polling day. The specific role of the Polling Station Inspector is to be the first point of contact with polling station staff in the event of any problems and they must, therefore, be ready to respond to any issues throughout polling day.

All Polling Station Inspectors should be familiar with the polling places within their allocated area. They should be poised to respond to any issues that may occur both prior to and following the opening of the poll, and ideally should commence their duties from a central point in their allocated area. It is of course, recognised that this approach may not be possible in more rural areas.

Main accountabilities

  • attend training sessions/briefings as required
  • to assist the Returning Officer with the resolution of any operational problems and distribute replacement equipment/stationary if required
  • to visit all allocated Polling Stations as quickly as possible, ensuring that all stations have opened on time, are correctly staffed, and are operating effectively and in accordance with Electoral Commission guidance
  • should there be a problem, Polling Station Inspectors will be expected to attend and carry out the duties of Presiding Officer if necessary
  • visits and inspections should be made throughout the day, ensuring that the Polling Stations remain open and operational. In addition, during visits you will collect postal votes as directed by the Returning Officer. Postal votes should be returned to the Electoral Services as outlined in the training session
  • ensure that each Polling Station meets the requirements that electors are able to cast their vote in secret. For example, that all equipment is being correctly used and appropriately laid out for its function. That Presiding Officers have all the necessary paperwork in their possession
  • that all statutory notices and signage are clearly visible for the elector throughout the duration of the poll
  • ensure that Health and Safety requirements at all polling stations are being met and that the station is being kept neat and tidy
  • ensure that the attendance of those entitled to be present in the Polling Station is being managed effectively and does not interfere with the voting process
  • to ensure that the rules regarding the activity of Tellers (situated outside) at polling stations are followed
  • to have full working knowledge of the close of poll procedure including the packing up and completing of paperwork to ensure that Presiding Officers undertake all tasks accurately and in a timely manner

Further information

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.

All staff will be required to sign an agreement to maintain the secrecy of the poll.

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.

Knowledge, qualifications and experience

  • to have supervisory skills and be able to communicate effectively to different audiences
  • political awareness
  • understanding of the value of teamwork and your own role as a Team Leader/Member
  • have comprehensive knowledge of the voting procedures and experience in a range of elections. For example, Parliamentary, Local and/or PFCC

Skills and abilities

  • excellent planning and organisational skills
  • people management skills including the directing of staff and monitoring performance
  • strong problem solving and decision-making skills including the ability to resolve complex issues
  • must be able to communicate effectively with members of the public, some of whom may present as confused, distressed or aggressive
  • ability to work calmly under pressure
  • punctual and reliable
  • ability to lift polling booths/ballot boxes during the set up/dismantling of the station (if required)


  • must not have worked in support of a political party and/or candidate at the election, whether paid or unpaid. Poll Clerks must also refrain from signing any candidate’s nomination papers for this election or standing as a candidate themselves
  • must be able to attend and successfully complete the mandatory training session before the day of the poll
  • must not have been convicted of an offence under Electoral Legislation
  • acceptance of Waiving of Working Time Directive for period of employment
  • use of a car for this post is an essential criterion. You must have access to a vehicle that can securely carry two or more ballot boxes and potentially some ballot booths (dependent on the polling station venue)
  • be aged 18 years or over
  • must be able to provide evidence of Right to Work in the UK prior to commencement of employment

Last updated 16 October 2023