Australian Electoral Commission

Duties of Polling Staff

Updated: 22 May 2013

1. Officer-in-Charge (OIC)

OICs are responsible for the management and the conduct of polling at the polling place.

Responsibilities include the inspection and setting up of the polling place, receipt and checking of all election materials, supervising polling staff in their duties, conducting the count, packaging and returning materials to the Divisional Office.

2. Second-in-Charge (2IC)

2ICs are employed mainly in larger polling places to assist the OIC with polling and counting duties. They may provide relief for other polling staff as required.

3. Polling Place Liaison Officer (PPLO)

PPLOs are selected to act as 'agents' for the Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) on polling day. Acting with the authority of the DRO, PPLOs visit a group of polling places to observe and advise on proceedings.

4. Declaration Vote Issuing Officer

Declaration Vote Issuing Officers process Declaration Vote Envelopes, issue votes to absent and provisional electors, complete relevant returns, package/label materials at close of poll and assist with the count of ballot papers after the close of poll.

5. Inquiry Officer

Inquiry Officers attend to the needs of electors waiting in the queue, assist electors who require help in casting a vote and assist with the count of ballot papers after the close of poll.

6. Ordinary Vote Issuing Officer

Ordinary Vote Issuing Officers issue ordinary ballot papers to electors whose names are found on the Certified List of Voters, mark the Certified List, complete the account of ballot papers and assist with the count of ballot papers after the close of poll.

7. Ballot Box Guard

Ballot Box Guards supervise ballot boxes to ensure that voters place ballot papers in the correct ballot box, direct voters to the exit and assist with the count of ballot papers after the close of poll.

8. Queue Controller

Queue Controllers organise electors into a single queue, direct electors to Issuing Points, ensure Absent electors are directed to Declaration Issuing Points, identify electors who require assistance and assist with the count of ballot papers after close of poll.

9. Scrutiny Assistant

Scrutiny Assistants are employed from 5.30pm to assist with the dismantling of voting screens, unfolding of ballot papers, packaging of material and tidying the polling place.

10. Electoral Visitors

Electoral Visitors conduct mobile polling at identified institutions such as hospitals, convalescent homes and aged care facilities in the week prior to polling day in accordance with a published itinerary.

This type of polling does require the Polling Official to carry election material to and from their transport to the place where polling will occur. The Polling Official may also need to walk around (moving from bed to bed) and will need to carry the voting materials with them.

11. Pre-poll Voting Officers

Pre-poll Voting Officers issue votes from Pre-poll Voting Centres (PPVCs). These are generally located in holiday areas, transport terminals, shopping centres and areas remote from a Divisional Office. They provide a service to electors who are unable to vote on polling day or are from interstate. The Officer-in-Charge of the PPVC is responsible for the supervision of staff, daily reconciliation, final balancing, packaging and returning all materials to the Divisional Office.

12. Remote Mobile Polling

In some States (NT, QLD, WA, SA), limited numbers of polling officials are engaged to conduct mobile polling in remote areas, frequently Aboriginal Communities.

Persons expressing interest in this type of polling must be able to demonstrate cross cultural awareness and sensitivity and confirm their ability and willingness to travel in light aircraft, 4WD vehicles or boats.

Remote polling does require the Polling Official to carry election material to and from their transport to the place where polling will occur.