Count Assistant | Election job descriptions | Sevenoaks District Council

Election job descriptions

Count Assistant

The purpose of the count staff is to open ballot boxes, verify that the number of votes in the ballot boxes matches the number of ballot papers issued and then count the votes for each candidate in the election.

Count Assistant’s duties are straightforward but undertaken in an environment that can at times be pressurised as the count is undertaken in the presence of candidates, their counting agents or other observers. The greatest of care must be taken to help prevent mistakes from happening.

As a Count Assistant you will earn approximately £90 for approximately five to six hours work.

As a Count Assistant you will:

  • Attend training if required
  • Have read and agreed to the terms of the Secrecy provisions
  • Act impartially at all times and respect confidentiality of material handled
  • Refrain from engaging in conversations with candidates, agents, councillors or guests
  • Act upon instructions from your supervisor


Count Assistants will work in teams of varying sizes.

A Count Assistant will be expected to:

  • Count the number of ballot papers in a ballot box
  • Check the counting of others as required
  • Inform the supervisor of the number of ballot papers counted
  • Divide ballot papers into votes for individual candidates/ options and count as instructed
  • Identify doubtful papers and bring them to the attention of the supervisor
  • Recount if required
  • Comply with the requirements of health and safety legislation at all times, taking due care of themselves, colleagues and others in attendance
  • Be prepared to work until the count concludes (adequate breaks and drinks will be provided)
  • Be required to sign their agreement to maintain the secrecy of the poll.

A Count Assistant is not permitted to have carried out duties on behalf of any political party or candidate at the election. 

Person specification


  • Literate and numerate
  • Ability to handle and count large volumes of confidential papers
  • Good timekeeping
  • Ability to treat people with fairness and respect at all times
  • Ability to remain politically neutral and not support a political party / candidate at the elections
  • Not connected to, nor will assist, any candidate or party at the election
  • Ability to comply with the requirement for secrecy and instructions regarding the use of social media
  • Must not have been convicted of an offence under Electoral Legislation


  • Ability to work as a team member
  • Previous experience as a Count Assistant