Polling Station Staff
Briefing Session
European Parliamentary election
4 June 2009
Local Returning Officer
Electoral Services Manager
Objectives of
the training
• In order to prepare for the election we will:
– outline the European Parliamentary election
– discuss the duties of the polling station staff
– look at pre-polling day activities
– look at the set up of the polling station
– outline those entitled to be present at the
polling station
– discuss the voting procedure
– think about health and safety issues
– highlight administrative arrangements
Overview of the • On 4th June there will be elections to the
Elections 2009 European Parliament across the UK
• Polling hours: 7am to 10pm
It is essential that you…
– Act impartially at all times
– Comply with any instructions issued by the Local Returning
– Ensure the secrecy and security of the ballot
The Presiding
Officer –
management of
the polling
– Ensure the secrecy and security of the ballot
– Liaise with the key-holder of the building and
organise the layout of the polling station
– Instruct and supervise the work of the Poll
– Be responsible and account for all the ballot
papers, ballot boxes and paperwork
– Ensure that proper procedure is followed,
including ensuring that the corresponding
number list is marked correctly.
The Presiding•
Officer –
practical tasks
Practical Tasks
– Overview of issue of ballot papers to voters
– Deal with special voting procedures
– Ask the prescribed questions when necessary
– Receive postal votes delivered by voters
– Manage the attendance of those entitled to be
present in the polling station, and ensure they do
not interfere with the voting process
– Monitor the activities of tellers
– Keep the polling station neat and tidy
– Ensure that all signs and notices are clear, visible
and remain in place
The Poll Clerk
- general duties
– Comply with the instructions of the Local
Returning Officer and the Presiding Officer
– Assist with the layout of the polling station and
prepare for the opening of the poll
– Be polite and professional in dealing with
voters, candidates, agents and others entitled
to be present
– Check that electors are eligible to vote in the
election and at that polling station
– Ensure that voters cast their votes in secret
– Maintain the secrecy of the ballot at all times
– Check and mark the elector numbers in
the register of electors
– Enter the electors’ elector numbers on the
Corresponding Number List (CNL)
– Issue ballot papers to voters, ensuring
they bear the official mark
– Ensure that voters cast their votes in
– Help with any other polling station duties
on the instructions of the Presiding Officer
The Poll Clerk
– specific tasks
Countdown to
polling day
• Essential tasks
– Visit polling place and check out contact
and access arrangements
– Check out arrangements for ballot box
collection and check contents as soon as
– Contact other members of the team
– Dress code – ensure clothing reflects
professionalism and impartiality but is also
– Read Handbook for polling station staff
Handbook for
polling station
quick guide
Polling station
• Supplies of stationery and equipment
• Responsible for
Checking layout of stations
Checking things are running smoothly
Collect any returned postal votes
Distribute payments
• Contact numbers
Can’t make contact with key-holder
Can’t gain access to the polling station
Staff failing to turn up or being late
Problems affecting the display of notices
Wrong registers allocated to the station
The ballot paper numbers do not match
those pre-printed on the CNL
The Polling Station
Setting up the
polling station
• Layout
– must work primarily for the voter
– walk route voter expected to follow
– accessible to all voters
• Notices
– – inside and outside polling
• Location of ballot box(es)
– accessible and secure
• Arrange each set of ballot papers in
numerical order
• Tellers and agents
– Who can enter the polling station?
• Sealing the box
Polling station
Polling station
Who can enter
the polling
– Voters
– Local/Regional Returning Officer and staff
– Candidates (party list and individual), their
election agents, sub-agents and polling agents
– Police officers on duty
– Representatives of the Electoral Commission
– Accredited observers
– Under 18s accompanying voters
– Companions of voters with disabilities
Two types of ID
issued by the
Customer care
How do we care for the electors?
Show a personal interest
Take responsibility and act on own initiative
Be helpful and approachable
Listen and empathise with them
Allow them to put their point across before
• Tell them what you can do
• But the election rules must be followed at all times
• Ensure that the voting process is
Customer care accessible to all:
• layout must work for all voters, including
wheelchair users
• stationery provided in alternative
languages and formats should be clearly
• tactile template needs to be clearly visible
and you should be confident in using it
• you must be able to provide information
to disabled electors on options for voting
aided and unaided
Who can vote?
Using the electoral register and corresponding number lists
Chapter 5 Polling station handbook
Who is
• Electors with no letters or dates before
their name
• Electors who are 18 years of age or over
on the day of the election
• Electors with an ‘F’ before their name
• Electors with a ‘K’ before their name
• Electors with an ‘L’ before their name
• Electors with an ‘E’ before their name
• Electors who have registered
anonymously who have an ‘N’ instead of a
Who cannot
• Electors with date of birth on register
which shows they are not 18 years of age
on polling day
• Electors with a ‘G’ before their name
• Electors with an ‘A’ before their name
Issuing the
ballot papers
• Marking the register and the CNL
– Mark electors’ elector number in the
– Enter the electors’ elector number on the
Corresponding Number List (CNL)
– Do NOT write the elector number on the
ballot paper!
• Ballot papers
– Official mark
– Unique Identifying Mark (UIM)
– Folding the ballot paper
Marking the
Queen’s Walk
JP12 7AS
411 G
Vella, Eva
412 G
Vella, Tolek
413 K
Vella, Christina
__________ Brown, Robert
Evans, Gareth
__________ Hall, Peter
Myers, Martin
418 A
Bishop, Stephanie
Smith, Ben
04 June
• Return to ‘issuing the ballot papers’
Number List
BC 27/1
• Return to ‘issuing the ballot papers’
Back of ballot
Marking the
ballot paper
• Some electors may need to have the
voting process explained to them:
– Voters have one vote. They can vote for a
party (and its list of candidates) or for an
individual candidate and should place a
cross in the blank box next to the party or
individual candidate they wish to vote for.
happens if…?
• a voter spoils the ballot paper
• a voter has nominated a proxy but the
voter arrives before the proxy
• a person arrives to vote but the register
indicates the person has already voted
• a person arrives to vote but the register
indicates the person is a postal voter
• emergency proxy voter procedure
• a person believes they should be on the
register but they are not listed
• there is a disturbance at the polling station
• The prescribed questions must be asked:
• when the Presiding Officer requires them to
• when polling station staff suspect personation
• when a registered elector is clearly under age
• when polling station staff suspect the elector
or proxy may be incapacitated due to alcohol
or drugs or for some other reason
• when a candidate, an election agent or polling
agent requests them
• always before issuing a tendered ballot paper
Postal Votes
• voters can hand in their postal votes at
polling stations in the same local counting
area (check they are for the area)
• procedure for collection of postal ballot
packs by the Local Returning Officer
during the day
• ‘A’ markers cannot be given a ballot paper
at the polling station:
• direct to Local Returning Officer for
replacement (before 5pm)
• tendered ballot paper procedure
• returned postal ballot packs must be
sealed and labelled as instructed
Close of Poll
Close of Poll
• Must close at 10 pm
• Make sure the doors are closed
• Anyone who has been issued with a ballot
paper by 10 pm must be allowed to vote
• However cannot issue after 10pm, even if
elector was in a queue at 10pm
• Seal ballot box in the presence of
candidates, election and polling agents,
accredited observers, Electoral
Commission representatives and Police
Officers on duty. Agents entitled to affix
After close of
• Absolutely essential that the ballot paper
account is completed accurately
• The ballot paper account must be placed
in the envelope provided – keep this with
the ballot box
• Ensure all documents placed in correct
packets and signed as appropriate
• tendered papers are wrongly issued
happens if … • an accident occurs in the polling station
an incident outside the polling station
prevents the Presiding Officer from
leaving for the count
Health and
Never put the safety of anyone inside the
polling station at risk
be aware to any potential risks to safety
inspect the premises regularly
if hazards are discovered – find a remedy
if an accident occurs – follow procedures
be careful when lifting heavy objects
• Election Team Contacts
– Staffing Officer
– Polling Station Officer
• Electoral Commission website
– www.electoralcommission.org.uk
– www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
• Feedback Sheets

Regional Returning Officer’s Training Seminar