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Deputy Returning Officer & Poll Clerk Guidebook– Ordinary Poll


This section tells you how to get ready before voting days and when you arrive at the voting place.


  • Notes have been added throughout the book to provide further context to instructions. If you need, feel free to add your own, as well
  • Polling places may be hot or cold, be prepared for both

Get ready the night before

  1. Both: If you are unable to work, call the office
  2. DRO: Check
  3. DRO: Count all your ballots

    Confirm the total matches the number of ballots and serial numbers on Record of Ballots EC 10002

  4. DRO: Inspect each ballot to make sure
    • it shows every candidate's name
    • it is not stained or badly printed

    If a ballot doesn't pass inspection

    • fold its corners
    • leave it in the booklet
    • don't use it when you serve electors, place it in Envelope: Spoiled Ballots EC 50430

    Note if a large number of ballots donít pass inspection, report it to the CPS

  5. Both: Review the following:
    • this guidebook
    • EC 90189 Have Your ID Ready to Vote
  6. Both: Prepare any food, water and medication you will need
  7. Both: Have your signed Solemn Declaration EC 10130 with you when working at the polling place and keep with you all the time
  8. Both: Do not wear political party colours or scented products at the polling place

How do I set up the polling station?

  1. Both: Arrive at the polling place at the time written at the front of this guidebook
  2. Both: Report to your CPS who will direct you to your table
  3. Both: If your table is not set up, set it up yourself

    Make sure there is enough space for people with reduced mobility

    Note candidates' representatives may arrive during set up. If they do, check their badge ó Candidates' representatives

  4. Both: Set up the voting screen and sharp pencils on a designated table behind you, away from windows and doors
  5. Both: Check the position of your tables with the CPS
  6. Both: Empty the yellow Ordinary Poll Bag EC 50500
  7. Both: Put Closing Supplies Kit - Ordinary Poll EC 50477 back inside yellow Ordinary Poll Bag EC 50500
  8. Both: Make a waiting line on the floor using the Floor Marking Strip EC 50163, 1 metre away from the front of your table
  9. Both: Put VIC Collection Bag EC 50256 on floor between DRO and PC
  10. Both: Organize your supplies on your table — What should be on my desk to serve electors?

THow do I set up the polling station?
Text version of "How do I set up the polling station?"

What should be on my desk to serve electors?

What should be on my desk to serve electors?
Text version of "What should be on my desk to serve electors?"

Tell the CPS if anything is missing.

Put all other supplies in Ordinary Poll Bag EC 50500 and put it under your table.

Get ready to serve electors

  1. Both: Write your name and "Deputy Returning Officer" or “Poll Clerk” on Election Personnel Identification Card EC 50210 and put it on. Wear it at all times
  2. Both: Fill out the cover page of Events Log EC 50060 and complete a Log of poll workers — Events Log (page 2-3)

    Note DRO steps 3-7 and PC steps 8-10 can be done at the same time

  3. DRO: Assemble Ballot Box EC 50250
    • check under flaps and show everyone at your table it is empty
    • write your polling station number, if not done already
    • seal top and bottom short edges of box with 4 Short Ballot Box Seals EC 50190
    • seal top and bottom long edges of box with 2 Long Ballot Box Seals EC 50200
  4. DRO: Copy numbers from long seals to Seal Control Sheet EC 50205 and put box on table in view of everyone present
  5. DRO: Put unused Short Ballot Box Seals, Long Ballot Box Seals and Seal Control Sheet inside yellow Ordinary Poll Bag EC 50500
  6. DRO: Complete a Log for balancing records and ballots — Events Log (page 6-7) EC 50060
    • make sure the total matches the number of ballots on Record of Ballots EC 10002
  7. DRO: Write your initials and the PD number on the back of each ballot in one booklet without removing them.

    Once you have used all the ballots in the first booklet, do the same for the next booklet

  8. Clerk: Write your electoral district name and polling station number on all the envelopes and bag on the table
  9. Clerk: Fill out the top section of Sequence Number Sheet EC 50111 Unless otherwise directed, fill out
    • 2 sets of forms if there are 4-7 candidates
    • 3 sets of forms if there are 8-11 candidates
  10. Clerk: Review Official List of Electors and if not already labeled, identify the 4 sections of the Official List
    • List of Electors
    • List of Entries
    • Last Page of the List
    • Poll Key
  11. Both: Tell the CPS that you are ready to serve electors so that they can do their Spot Check 4
  12. Both: Together, review the voting procedures to make sure you understand them — When an elector arrives
  13. Both: At the start of voting hours, serve electors — When an elector arrives