Elections Officer

Councils are responsible for organising all elections held in the UK: parliamentary general elections, European parliamentary elections, council elections and any by-elections.  Elections officers help organise the process - from the day an election is called until the votes are counted.

Work Environment
Elections officers are office-based, usually in a town hall or main civic building.
Hours of work are normally 37 per week.  Job share opportunities may be available.

Daily Activities
Elections officers assist elections managers with a wide range of tasks relating to the smooth running of elections.  Their daily duties can include:

  • keeping the register of electors up-to-date by sending out registration forms to every household;
  • checking returned electoral registration forms for accuracy;
  • dealing with election candidate nomination papers;
  • arranging for ballot papers to be printed;
  • booking rooms to be used as polling stations;
  • recruiting and supervising temporary staff to work on polling day or at busy times in the election period;
  • sending out voting papers to those who have requested postal votes;
  • dealing with enquiries from the public;
  • keeping up to date with electoral law and monitoring changes;
  • preparing returns and statistics.

Skills & Interests
Elections officers need to be:

  • good communicators; 
  • able to deal professionally with people from all walks of life; 
  • good organisers; 
  • able to work methodically; 
  • able to prioritise their time and sometimes work under pressure; 
  • good at working as part of a team; 
  • accurate, with a good attention to detail; 
  • computer literate.

Entry Requirements
There are no minimum entry requirements but some councils ask for GCSEs/S grades at C/3 or above, including English and maths.  Alternatively, you may be able to gain entry with NVQ/SVQs or Intermediate GNVQ/GSVQ in Business Administration.  Training is given on the job.  Councils encourage elections officers to obtain the certificate and diploma of the Association of Electoral Administrators, which covers registration of electors, administration of elections, electoral law, electoral systems and electoral management and finance.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
There may be opportunities to progress to elections manager. It may also be possible to move into the democratic services department and work more directly with elected councillors.

Further Information & Services
Association of Electoral Administrators www.aea-elections.co.uk
Chartered Institute of Legal Executives www.cilex.org.uk
Institute of Leadership and Management http://www.i-l-m.com
Local Government Association www.local.gov.uk 
The Law Society www.lawsociety.org.uk

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales (www.careerswales.com/) or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

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