Scheduled elections usually take place on the first Thursday of May. Other by-elections for MPs or local and parish councillors can take place at any other time of the year, and on any weekday.
These polls are all run from 7am to 10pm. If you work at a polling station you need to arrive by 6:15am at the latest to have time to get everything ready.
Polling station staff are not usually permitted to leave the premises between 7am and 10pm. You should take enough food and drink with you for the whole day.
It is a long day, and you must be willing to work more hours than the working time directive limit.
The votes are usually counted at a night count after the polls close (10pm on polling day), or the following morning. Alternatively, votes are counted the day after the polls close.
The length of time a count takes depends on the type of election, how many people turned out to vote and whether re-counts are required. You must be prepared to stay until counting has finished and the result(s) has been declared.
Returned postal votes are opened, checked and tallied in a secure manner prior to polling day. The opening sessions usually start around 9.30am and the length of time it takes depends on the number of returned postal votes each day. You must be prepared to stay as long as it takes each day you are appointed to work.