Toggle menu

Cost of living support

Financial advice and emotional support on how you can ease the cost of living squeeze.

Counting assistant job description

What you'll be expected to do as a counting assistant, the experience and skills that you will need for the job.


The verification/count team

The purpose of the verification/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 is not difficult, but duties are undertaken in a pressurised environment and the greatest of care has to be taken to ensure that mistakes are not made.

They must:

  • attend training if required
  • follow all instructions issued
  • have read and agree 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 or guests


Count assistants will work in teams of varying sizes as designated by the Returning Officer. As directed by a count supervisor/team leader.


Open, sort and then count the number of ballot papers in a ballot box in accordance with instructions from the Count Supervisor/Team Leader or Deputy Returning Officer.

Re-count if required.


Count the ballot papers into votes for individual candidates and then in to bundles 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 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 night and potentially into the early hours of the morning. You will be given adequate breaks and 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.

Person specification


Essential: None

Desirable: Previous count experience.

Skills/personal attributes


Must be numerate.

Accuracy and attention to detail Ability to follow instructions 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/briefing sessions as required.

Must not have been convicted of an offence under electoral legislation.

Acceptance and adherence to the terms of Statement of Secrecy.