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Job opportunities at elections

Would you like to play your part in helping us to run elections in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse in a role that’s important for your local community and a great way of earning some extra money?

Our Elections team is always looking for new people to work with us and would love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming involved.  Register your interest now and we’ll then let you know when positions become available. 

Job opportunities for 2023

If you are 18 or over, the following roles are available for next year (in date order from start to finish):

  • Nomination Receptionist – Monday 20 March to Tuesday 4 April
  • Postal Vote Opening Assistants – Monday 24 April to Friday 5 May
  • Ballot Box Filling and Distribution – Monday 24 April to Tuesday 2 May
  • Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks – Thursday 4 May
  • Runners – Thursday 4 May (9pm onwards)
  • Count Receptionist – Friday 5 May
  • Count Assistants – Friday 5 May
  • Sack Sorting Assistants – Friday 5 May

Further information about the different types of roles can be found below, or by contacting the Elections team via the contact details at the bottom of the page.

What work you can do at an election

Work at a polling station

Polling station staff are responsible for making sure that the proper voting procedures are followed. They 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, staff must be on duty at their polling station from 6.30am until shortly after 10pm. Polling station staff are not permitted to leave the premises during these hours.

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

There are two roles required in polling stations:

Presiding Officers are responsible for conduct in their polling station and must have a good knowledge of voting procedures. They have normally worked as a Poll Clerk previously and will be responsible for complying with all instructions and ensuring the integrity and secrecy of the ballot. Presiding Officers assign work to the Poll Clerk(s), ensuring the accuracy of the poll and account for all of the ballot papers. They are also responsible for collecting and delivering the ballot box(es) to the polling station and then to the count venue, and will have responsibility for ensuring their polling station is open and closed on the day.

Poll Clerks assist the Presiding Officer to run a polling station. They 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.

Processing Postal Votes

Postal Vote Assistants are required to assist with the opening of returned postal voting ballot packs.  Work is available over a number of sessions from around ten days before an election and running up until the night of polling day. This may sometimes include weekends, evenings and bank holidays.

Work at the election count

We have a number of roles available at the count which is where we verify, sort and then count the ballot papers, and eventually declare the results.

The count is usually held in Abingdon. 

Every person attending the count will be required to maintain the secrecy of voting and remain neutral at all times. 

Counting Assistants count the number of ballot papers for the verification process and will then sort and count the votes cast for each candidate.  Count assistants work in small teams overseen by a Count Supervisor.

Runners work outside and retrieve the ballot boxes and stationery from returning Presiding Officers vehicles and deliver them quickly to the appropriate count zone in the count venue. They usually have to be ready at the count venue from 9.00pm.

Sack Team staff open and sort all returned stationery (from 10pm onwards) and verify the number of unused ballot papers returned by each polling station.

Miscellaneous Duties

We often require a small number of staff in the run up to the election to assist with the preparing of stationery packs, ballot box filling and distribution, and setting up and dismantling of the count centre etc. 


Canvassers are employed to visit each property that has not responded to their annual Household Enquiry Form to confirm the details of the people living in that property.  They work alone and are employed for four weeks during the autumn.  During this time they must visit every property assigned to them, this includes evening and weekend working. They are issued with a tablet device to record the information and will need to attend a training session beforehand.

Have you got what it takes to join us? 


You must be over 18 and 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 station staff and count staff must consent to working in excess of the normal working hours provided for by the Working Time Directive.

Any work carried out for the elections is subject to the Secrecy Requirements, copies of which will be supplied to all staff.

Rates of Pay 

The rates of pay vary depending on the job role and the type of poll – polling station staff are paid a flat rate and verification/count staff, and postal vote staff will be paid an hourly rate.

All fees are subject to tax and will be reviewed regularly.  Mileage allowance will be paid where applicable.

How to apply

We are always looking to recruit motivated and dynamic staff to fill any vacancies that occur.  

To apply please see the brief descriptions below of the jobs available and then complete and return an application form – email it to  

We will then email you a link to our Mobile Election Account (MEA) where we will communicate with you for any upcoming elections or referenda.

If you have any questions please call 01235 422528.

Contact us - Electoral services

01235 422528
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

Vale of White Horse District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE