Presiding Officer

Information about the Presiding Officer job role.

Job Title: Presiding Officer

Job type: Supervisory

Key responsibilities and activities

  • Responsible for the conduct of the ballot in the polling station.
  • Responsible for the management of your polling staff.
  • Ensuring the accurate delivery of the poll and account for all ballot papers. 
  • Ensuring that voter identification is asked for and checked before ballot papers are issued.
  • Ensuring electors understand the new voter identification requirements including what constitutes an acceptable form of ID.
  • Ensuring electors are able to present their ID in private when requested.
  • Responsible for refusing a voter a ballot paper where no ID is presented; or you do not consider the ID to be a good likeness; or consider it to be a forgery.
  • Comply with any instructions from the Returning Officer and their staff.
  • Ensure that all electors are treated with respect and receive the same experience wherever they are and whatever time they vote.
  • You must always ensure the secrecy and security of the ballot.
  • Liaise with the key holder and plan for the opening and closing of your polling building. You should also visit your polling station in advance to ensure polling day arrangements are in place.
  • Contact your poll clerk(s), and any other Presiding Officer(s) appointed to the same polling place, at least a week before Polling Day.
  • Collect your ballot box (s) and equipment before polling day at your allocated time slot. The ballot box (s) must be kept in a secure environment until polling day.
  • Responsible for setting up your polling stations and leaving the building in a neat and secure state.
  • Ensure your polling stations open and close at the required times.
  • Be responsible for assigning work to the polling station staff and ensuring that the correct procedure for voting is followed.
  • Deal with members of the public in a helpful, polite, and professional manner.
  • Support disabled voters use any special equipment or devices.
  • Completion of the ballot paper account and all other paperwork, including the ballot paper refusal list and voter ID evaluation form.
  • Delivering the ballot box and all other equipment and sundries to the count venue promptly after the close of poll.
  • You cannot be employed if you have carried out any duties on behalf of any political party or candidate at the election.

Hours / days required

  • visit polling station in advance: 1 hour
  • collection of ballot box: 1 hour
  • training: 2 hours
  • polling day: 6am to 11pm (17 hours)

Based at

The Elections Office will seek to place staff in polling stations that are convenient for them.

Person Specification

Person specification for the Presiding Officer role
CriteriaAttributes (Essential/desirable)
Knowledge Essential: Working knowledge of the electoral process

Skills and abilities 

  • Experience of having worked at a Polling Station on at least 2 other occasions.
  • Ability to work independently under pressure

Desirable: Previous line-management or supervisory experience



  • Ability to remain politically neutral
  • Good timekeeping
  • Fully literate and numerate

Desirable: Diplomacy and tact when working with members of the public.

How to apply

You can only apply online - we do not accept CVs. To complete the online form you will need a valid e-mail address.

Apply online to work at elections