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Polling Station Staff Briefing Session. Combined European Parliamentary and local government elections 4 June 2009. Introduction . (Local) Returning Officer Electoral Services Manager . Objectives of the training session. In order to prepare for the elections we will

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polling station staff briefing session

Polling Station Staff Briefing Session

Combined European Parliamentary and local government elections

4 June 2009



(Local) Returning Officer

Electoral Services Manager

objectives of the training session
Objectives of the trainingsession
  • In order to prepare for the elections we will
    • Outline the combined European Parliamentary and local government elections
    • 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 elections 2009
Overview of the Elections 2009
  • On 4th June there will be elections to the European Parliament across the UK
  • In this area there will also be local government elections
  • Polling hours: 7am to 10pm
it is essential that you

It is essential that you…

Act impartially at all times

Comply with any instructions issued by the Returning


Ensure the secrecy and security of the ballot

the presiding officer management of the polling station
The Presiding Officer –management of the polling station
  • 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 Clerks
  • 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
The PresidingOfficer –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
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
the poll clerk specific tasks
The Poll Clerk – specific tasks
  • Check and mark the elector numbers in the register of electors
  • Enter the electors’ electoral numbers in the Corresponding Number List (CNL)
  • Issue ballot papers to voters, ensuring they bear the official mark
  • Ensure that voters cast their votes in secret
  • Help with any other polling station duties on the instructions of the Presiding Officer
countdown to polling day
Countdown topolling 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 possible
  • Contact other members of the team
  • Dress code – ensure clothing reflects professionalism and impartiality but is also comfortable
  • Read Handbook for polling station staff
polling station inspectors
Polling station inspectors
  • 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
setting up the polling station
Setting up thepolling 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
who can enter the polling station
Who can enter the polling station?
  • Voters
  • Local/Regional/local government Returning Officers and staff
  • Candidates at the European election (party list and individual), their election agents, sub-agents and polling agents
  • Candidates at the local government election, their election agents and polling agents
  • Police officers on duty
  • Representatives of the Electoral Commission
  • Accredited observers
  • Under 18s accompanying voters
  • Companions of voters with disabilities
customer care
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 responding
  • Tell them what you can do
  • But the election rules must be followed at all times
customer care1
Customer care

Ensure that the voting process is accessible

to all:

  • layout must work for all voters, including wheelchair users
  • stationery provided in alternative languages and formats should be clearly visible
  • 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

Who can vote?

Using the electoral register and corresponding number lists

Chapter 5 Polling station handbook

general rules
General rules
  • These people can vote in the polling station for all elections:
    • electors with no letters or dates before their name
    • electors who are 18 years of age or over on the day of the election (without any additional franchise markers)
    • electors who have registered anonymously who have an ‘N’ instead of a name (without any additional franchise markers)
  • Electors with an ‘A’ are postal voters, so are not eligible to receive a normal ballot paper in the polling station.
    • electors with an [A*/A#] are postal voters for the [local government/European Parliamentary election] only.
    • electors with an [A*/A#] are postal voters for the [local government/European Parliamentary election] only.
issuing the ballot papers
Issuing the ballot papers
  • Marking the register and the CNL
    • Mark electors’ elector number in the register
    • 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 register
Marking the register

Return to ‘issuing the ballot papers’

the corresponding number list cnl
The Corresponding Number List (CNL)

Return to ‘issuing the ballot papers’

BC 27/1

marking the ballot paper
Marking the ballot paper
  • Some electors may need to have the voting process explained to them:

- Voters at the European Parliamentary election 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.

- Voters at the local government election have [one/two/three] votes and should place a cross in the box to the right of the candidate(s) they wish to vote for.

what happens if
What happens if…
  • a voter is entitled to only one ballot paper?
  • a voter spoils a 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
the prescribed questions
The prescribed questions

The prescribed questions must be asked:

  • When the Presiding Officer requires them to be
  • When polling station staff suspect personation
  • When a registered elector is clearly under age
  • When a candidate, an election agent or polling agent requests them
  • Before issuing a tendered ballot paper, including:

- when an elector, listed as a postal voter, states they never received their ballot papers

- when an elector, listed as a postal voter, states they never applied for a postal vote

postal votes
Postal votes
  • Packs can be handed in at polling stations in the same [electoral division/parish/parish ward] – check they are for the correct area.
  • Procedure for collection of postal ballot packs during the day by the Returning Officer.
  • Voters with an ‘A’ marked against their name cannot be given an ordinary ballot paper at the polling station:
    • direct to Returning Officer for replacement (before 5pm)
    • tendered papers for postal voters who claim not to have applied or received a ballot
    • different times for issue of tendered ballot papers
  • Returned postal ballot packs must be sealed and labelled as instructed
close of poll1
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(es) in the presence of candidates, election and polling agents, accredited observers, Electoral Commission representatives and Police Officers on duty. Agents entitled to affix seal.
after close of poll
After close of poll
  • Absolutely essential that the ballot paper accounts are completed accurately
  • The ballot paper accounts must be placed in the envelope provided – keep these with the ballot box(es)
  • Ensure all documents are sealed and signed as appropriate
what happens if1
What happens if …
  • there is a mistake on the register
  • tendered papers are wrongly issued
  • a person has been missed off the register
  • an accident occurs in the polling station
  • an incident outside the polling station prevents the Presiding Officer from leaving for the count
health and safety
Health andsafety

Managing risk is crucial to the effective outcome of the election

  • 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
additional information
Additional Information
  • Election Team Contacts
    • ESM
    • Staffing Officer
    • Polling Station Officer
  • Electoral Commission website
    • www.electoralcommission.org.uk
    • www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
  • Feedback Sheets