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Deputy Returning Officer and Poll Clerk Guidebook – Ordinary Poll

Electors with disabilities (for deputy returning officers)

You are legally required to accommodate electors with physical, mental and developmental disabilities and to serve them in a way that respects their dignity.

Face the elector and speak calmly. Even if they have a hearing impairment, your natural facial expressions, gestures and body movements will help them understand.

Note: service dogs are allowed inside the polling place

If you see an elector who might need help

  1. Ask them politely if there is anything you can do to help
  2. Listen carefully to what they say and be patient
  3. Do whatever it is they ask you to do to assist them

Elector wants help from DRO to mark their ballot

  1. Bring the elector and Poll Clerk behind the screen
  2. Quietly ask elector for which candidate they want to vote
  3. Mark ballot for them with Poll Clerk as a witness
  4. Fold ballot for elector
  5. Serve elector following regular process

Elector wants help to vote from a relative or another person

The person helping does not have to be a qualified elector. A person can help several relatives but only one friend.

  1. Read oath 5 to person helping elector Book of Oaths p. 9
  2. In Poll Book p. 4 (on the list) or p. 12 (not on the list) Poll Clerk writes Elector information and ticks box for oath 5 next to elector's name
  3. Serve elector following regular process

Elector wants to use large-print list of candidates, Braille list or magnifier

See CPS for Braille list or magnifier.

  1. Give requested item to elector
  2. Ask them to
    • bring it with them behind the voting screen
    • not make any marks on it
    • return it to you with their ballot
  3. Replace list with new one if marked by elector
  4. Return Braille list or magnifier to CPS

Elector wants to use voting template

  1. Slip ballot inside Voting Template EC 50170.
    Make sure the ballot is tight at the top and circles match up with the squares
  2. Give them the template. Have them practise removing and folding the ballot until they succeed
  3. Offer to guide them to voting screen
  4. Stand in front of the screen and instruct them to
    • follow the squares with their finger as you read out the names and parties
      Note: read them out in the same order as they appear on the ballot
    • mark the square for their candidate with the pencil
    • remove the ballot from the template and fold it like they practised
  5. Offer to guide them back to the table
  6. Serve elector following regular process
    Note: visually impaired electors are allowed to hold their ballot while you check the serial number
  7. Tell them what you are doing at each step.
    e.g. 'I am now tearing up the counterfoil'