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Verification and Count Assistant

Details of the job

Post title: Verification and Count Assistant
Hours: Variable – Daytime/Evenings and Weekends
Location: Count Venue – TBC
Reports to: Count/Verification Supervisor / Elections Manager
Service area: Electoral Services – Corporate Services

Purpose of the job

The purpose of the Verification and Count Teams is to open ballot boxes, ensure the contents agree with the ballot paper accounts and then count the votes for each candidate in the election. The role of the Verification and Count Assistant is not difficult, but duties are undertaken in a pressurised environment and the greatest care must be taken to ensure that mistakes are not made.

Main accountabilities

Verification and Count Assistants will work in teams of varying sizes as designated by the Returning Officer. The verification and subsequent count(s) are two processes; depending on the size and nature of the election they can occur over several days. As directed by the Supervisor, Verification and Count Assistants will:

  • attend the briefing session before the commencement of the count. (This is undertaken at the venue, prior to the start of the count)
  • to verify, sort and count the contents of ballot boxes as instructed by the Count Supervisor
  • conduct all counts and recounts in accordance with the counting method you will be instructed to use
  • alert the Count Supervisor to any doubtful ballot papers

Further information

  • act impartially at all times and respect the confidentiality of material being handled
  • have read and agreed to the terms of the Statement of Secrecy
  • use of any electronic device within the count hall is strictly prohibited. Mobile phones, tablets, e-readers etc should be placed securely into a bag or in a pocket on your person. You may use your mobile phone outside of the count hall on your designated break. Please be mindful of social media commentary and the agreements regarding maintaining the secrecy of the ballot
  • refrain from engaging in conversations with candidates, agents, councillors or guests

The length of time a verification or count takes will be dependent on a number of factors. For example, the electorate turnout, the size and nature of the election and whether re-counts are required. You must be prepared to stay for as long as it takes to conclude the count/verification and may wish to bring your own refreshments.

Normally, the initial verification will commence immediately after the polls are closed at 10pm and the ballot boxes are received at the count centre. Therefore, the initial verification/count will commence late into the evening and potentially will not finish until the early hours of the following morning. Subsequent counts may take place during normal working hours or over weekends.

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

  • no previous experience required. However previous experience of working at electoral counts would be considered an advantage

Skills and abilities

  • good communication skills and ability to follow strict instructions
  • basic numeracy and literacy skills
  • the ability to work quickly, with accuracy and with attention to detail
  • ability to follow instructions
  • punctual and reliable and with a flexible attitude
  • can work calmly under pressure
  • be able to work as part of a team


  • must not have worked in support of a political party and/or candidate at the election, whether paid or unpaid. Verification and Count staff must also refrain from signing any candidate’s nomination papers for this election or standing as a candidate themselves
  • ability to work flexibly, including unsociable hours
  • be willing to attend training/briefing sessions as required. (Normally conducted at the count centre just prior to the count/verification commencing)
  • must not have been convicted of an offence under Electoral Legislation
  • acceptance and adherence to the terms of the Statement of Secrecy
  • accept and sign their appointment letter that contains the Acceptance of Waiving of Working Time Directive for the period of this employment
  • 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 14 September 2022