The AEC employs approximately 70 000 polling officials for each federal election. The AEC also maintains a register of interest which may be accessed to fill other temporary positions throughout the periods between elections.
Temporary employees may be engaged for short periods of time for specific electoral activities in the following categories:
You can submit a Registration of Interest online through the AEC Employment System.
Registering online is a two step process:
All temporary employees engaged to assist with an electoral event are to undertake a character clearance. This involves agreeing to have a police record check into your background. You are asked to complete an application form and submit certified copies of your identity documents. Should you be offered employment with the AEC you will receive the form and instructions with your letter of offer.
The AEC operates in a politically sensitive environment. Any person who is, and is seen to be, active in political affairs, and intends to publicly carry on this activity, may compromise the strict political neutrality of the AEC. An employee who does not adhere to the standard of political neutrality may have his or her employment terminated.
Most Australian citizens who work in Australia pay income tax during the year via the "pay as you go" method – where the employer works out how much income tax to take out of the individual's wages and sends it on to the ATO. You may apply for exemption of tax to be deducted from your wages, if you meet the necessary criteria.
The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 does not specifically require applicants for temporary employment to be Australian citizens, however certain categories of temporary employment require the witnessing of documentation, and thus must be undertaken by enrolled electors.
Persons under the age of 18 years are not permitted (due to legislative restrictions) to work as an Officer in Charge, Second in Charge or an Issuing Officer. However, persons under the age of 18 years are able to undertake roles such as temporary assistants or scrutiny assistants.
The AEC is committed to creating a staffing profile at polling places that reflects the cultural diversity of the communities we serve and to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage in electoral participation.
Staff from the AEC’s Indigenous and Community Engagement Team are available to assist Indigenous applicants with information on available jobs, working conditions and preparing and submitting an application.
If you are interested in temporary employment at a polling place please contact the AEC's Indigenous and Community Engagement Team.
For advice on how election work may affect your payments please read the information provided on the Department of Human Services website.
The AEC Collective Determination sets the terms and conditions for temporary employment under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. Pay rates vary depending on the type of role undertaken.
The AEC Social Media Policy for temporary employees establishes guidance, procedures and protocol for temporary employees considering accessing or using social media in all its forms.
This policy outlines the performance standards for Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 employees.