Presiding Officer or Poll Clerk Role Positions – Southend Borough Council

Presiding Officer or Poll Clerk Role Positions – Southend Borough Council

The Returning Officer is urgently seeking support from local community groups and volunteers for appointment as a Presiding Officer or Poll Clerk to help run polling stations across the borough at the local, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and parish elections on 6 May 2021. The hours of poll are from 7.00am to 10.00pm.

Interest in applying for appointment as a Presiding Officer or Poll Clerk should be sent to as soon as possible.

Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks play a vital role in the smooth and efficient running of polling stations and in ensuring and maintaining the secrecy and security of the election process. Payments for each of these positions varies depending on the type of election being held and includes a payment for participation in appropriate training. The duties for each role include:


Presiding Officer

Presiding Officers represent the Returning Officer and are in overall charge of all aspects of the management and operation of the polling station, including:

  • Responsibility for the security of ballot box, ballot papers, etc.
  • Ensuring that proper procedures are followed for issuing ballot papers.
  • Instructing and supervising Poll Clerks.
  • Responsibility for the accurate completion of relevant statutory paperwork.
  • Responsibility for securely taking ballot papers to count centre.
  • Monitoring the activities of tellers, etc.


Use of a car is advised for this role, as you will need to deliver the ballot box and ballot papers to the count centre (Southend Leisure and Tennis Club) after close of poll.


Poll Clerk

Poll clerks assist and support the Presiding Officer in all aspects of the operation of the polling station, including:

  • Setting out the polling station.
  • Following instructions from the Presiding Officer and assisting with their duties.
  • Greeting voters.
  • Checking eligibility and marking voters in the Register of Electors.
  • Marking the Corresponding Number List and issuing ballot papers.


For this year, the role of Poll Clerks will also include:

  • Queue management inside the Polling Station.
  • Ensuring that social distancing is maintained.
  • Wiping contact surfaces at regular intervals throughout the day.


All Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks must participate in a training session before taking up their appointment. The training for Presiding Officers will be delivered through the Microsoft Teams platform on either 26 or 27 April 2021 (6.30pm). The training for Poll Clerks will be delivered through an online e-learning module.

In order to alleviate any concerns that you may have with regard to COVID-19 and the ongoing public health situation, I can provide assurance that the Returning Officer has put arrangements in place to ensure that staff stay safe whilst working at polling stations on election day, in accordance with national guidelines and advice issued by the Electoral Commission. Presiding Officers will be provided with personal protective equipment for all staff at polling stations, including a protective screen, face coverings, sanitiser and wipes. Social distancing and other safety measures will be in operation at all polling stations (both inside and outside the building) and only limited numbers of people will be allowed inside polling stations. By law, all electors voting at the polling stations will be required to wear a face covering (subject to the prescribed exceptions). The Returning Officer will also continue to review ongoing public health guidance and the advice of the Electoral Commission as preparations for the elections continue, to ensure that the delivery of this important democratic process follows the most up to date advice.

Jamie Langstone