Verification and count assistant

The purpose of the verification and count team 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 Count Assistant role

The role of the Count Assistant isn't difficult, but this is a pressurised environment and the greatest of care needs to be taken so that mistakes are not made. 

You must:

  • have read and agreed to the terms of the Statement of Secrecy
  • act impartially at all times and respect confidentiality of material handled
  • refrain from engaging in conversations with candidates, agents, councillors and guests 

Count Assistants will work in teams of varying sizes as designated by the Returning Officer. 

As directed by a Count Supervisor you will:

  • verify the contents of the ballot boxes
  • divide ballot papers into votes for individual candidates and count them using the method designated by the Returning Officer
  • re-count if required

The length of time a count takes will depend on the size and nature of the election and whether recounts are required. You must be prepared to stay as long as it takes and may wish to bring your own food or drink. You will not be able to eat whilst carrying out the counting duties.

Normally the Count takes place immediately after the close of poll which is 10pm, you will work late into the evening and potentially into the early hours of the morning. You may be given adequate breaks and depending on the election refreshments will be provided.

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 their agreement to maintain the secrecy of the poll


You must:

  • attend a training session before election day
  • sign an agreement to maintain the secrecy requirements
  • be eligible to work in the UK (evidence is needed)
  • not work on behalf of a candidate or political party, paid or otherwise

You will need your National Insurance number to apply.

This information is provided for guidance only and may be subject to change without notice.

Last updated 26 June 2024