When you’ve got to vote in an election, you will almost certainly have noticed the poll clerks overseeing everything.
However, have you ever considered making a bit of extra cash as a poll clerk yourself?
Can you make yourself free for the whole day?
If so, you can earn around £250 for a day’s work in a polling station.
It’s a quick and easy money-making idea and ideal if you are retired or a student.
Anyone is eligible to act as a poll clerk, providing they are over 18, literate and not a member of a political party participating in the election.
The only other requirement is that applicants must be on the electoral roll – if you’re not, you really should be. Not being on the electoral roll can damage your credit rating!
If you’re not on the electoral roll you just need to contact your local Council and ask them to do it.
As a poll clerk you are there to help the Presiding Officer set up polling booths: check and mark each person as they vote; stamp and issue ballot papers to voters, making sure they bear the official mark; ensure that voters cast their votes in secret; answer any questions in a friendly and professional way; show people how to vote; and maintain the secrecy and security of the ballot.
It’s a long day, usually from early morning (before 7am) till at least 10pm when the voting finishes.
You can also apply to help count the ballot papers in the evening, but be aware that this is, as you can probably imagine, pretty frantic work.
You should be getting at least £100 for the day and councils who pay the most will offer £250 or more.
To find out how much your council pays, visit the CITA listings of local authorities.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that after two or three years’ experience as a poll clerk, you can apply to become a Presiding Officer, which means more money!
Call your local authority and ask for the Elections and Registration Office, or send them an email telling them that you’re interested. They’ll send you a form if they need clerks.
Also, many local authorities have online application forms, so have a look at their websites.
Don’t leave it until a week before an election to apply because the positions will probably already be filled – it’s better to apply sooner rather than later.
Some local authorities recruit all year round so you can keep applying and be put on a waiting list for the next election.
If you are selected as a poll clerk you will attend a training/briefing session and then be sworn in the day before the election.
On Election Day, a Presiding Officer oversees the whole station and will supervise and instruct you.
Have you ever made money as a polling clerk? Do you have any other good money making ideas? Let us know in the comments section below – we love to hear from you!