Count Assistant (Verification and Count)

Job Description

Job Title: Count Assistant (Verification and Count)

Department: Electoral Services

Responsible to: Electoral Services Manager

Purpose of the Post

The purpose of the verification and count team is to open ballot boxes and count the number of ballot papers in the ballot box and ensure that the contents agree with the Ballot Paper Account. Once all ballot boxes have tallied the ballot papers are split by candidate and counted.

The role of the Count Assistant is undertaken in a pressurised environment and the greatest of care has to be taken to ensure that mistakes are not made when verifying and counting the ballot papers.

Main Responsibilities

  • Attend a training briefing as required.
  • Read and agree to the terms set out in legislation covering the secrecy requirements.
  • Act impartially at all times and respect the confidentiality of the material handled.
  • Be polite and professional when dealing with candidates, agents, elected members or guests.

Duties (Verification and Count)

Count Assistants will work in teams of varying sizes as designated by the Returning Officer. Each team will be led by a Chief Counter. Under their direction Count Assistants will:


  • Verify the contents of the ballot boxes by counting the number of ballot papers contained within them.
  • Pass figures to the Chief Counter for collation.
  • Re-count the contents if required.


  • Sort the ballot papers into votes for individual candidates and count them using the method designated by the Returning Officer.
  • Put doubtful ballot papers in the receptacle provided.
  • Advise Chief Counter of figure.
  • Re-count if required.

The length of time a Count takes will depend on the size and nature of the election and whether re-counts are required. You must be prepared to stay as long as it takes. If the Count takes place immediately after the close of poll, you will start working late into the evening and potentially into the early hours of the morning.

The Returning Officer is not permitted to employ anyone who is/or who has carried out duties on behalf of any political party or candidate at the election. All staff will be required to sign confirm that they will uphold and maintain the secrecy of the poll.

You may be required to perform additional duties not listed above which are appropriate to your role and experience to ensure the smooth running of the election process. Job descriptions can be amended at the organisations discretion to ensure service needs are met.

Person Specification

Essential  Desirable
  • None
Skills/Personal Attributes
  • Numeracy, accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to follow instruction.
  • Punctual and reliable.
  • Calm under pressure.
  • Must not have worked in support of a political party/candidate at the election whether paid or unpaid.
  • Be willing to attend training session.
  • Must not have been convicted of an offence under Electoral Legislation.
  • Acceptance of waiving of working time directive for period of employment.