Election 2020: Who’s in your polling station?
With the General Election a mere month away, it’s important to know which person performs each respective duty in your polling station.
There are at least four main people you may encounter during your voting experience. It’s important to understand their roles and functions so if you need help when casting your ballot, they can assist you.
Here are those personalities and what they’ll be able to help you with on Election Day.
As the name suggests, for any questions you may have prior to casting your ballot, the Information Officer is the best person to ask. Their main duty is to know and have a good understanding of everything happening in the polling station.
More specifically, for voters who aren’t sure whether their polling station has moved for some reason, the Information Officer can assist in verifying whether you’re in the right place.
Red/Green Line Polling Clerk
This person’s responsibility is to ensure that your name is on the voters' list for that particular polling station. They’ll also be the first to look at your identification card to ensure that the information on your card is the same as the Election and Boundaries Commission’s records. They will also cross-reference your voter identification number with their forms and your polling card to ensure that your arrival for voting is recorded.
To confirm, this person will say your name, your reference number and your consecutive voting number aloud. Once all details are correct, the Red or Green Line Polling Clerk will have you sign your polling card so you can move on to the rest of the process.
Deputy Presiding Officer
This officer has very important responsibilities which still precede casting the ballot. Following the voter’s interaction with the Red or Green Line Polling Clerk, the Deputy Presiding Officer receives the person in line. The officer should take a keen look at the voter’s fingers to ensure that there is no ink. This means that the person likely has not yet voted. Then, they’ll take the voter’s identification and signed polling card to match the records against your ballot paper.
If you have any issues understanding which symbol represents a particular political party, the Deputy Presiding Officer will explain the differences to you.
Following this, your identification card will be returned to you, along with your ballot so you can move on to voting.
Officer in charge of the ballot box
After you vote, you go straight from the booth to the desk of the Officer in charge of the ballot box.
The Officer will receive your polling card and verify the information written at the back of it. This includes the information filled in by the Deputy Presiding Officer. You’ll then be required to dip your finger in the electoral ink and to then place your ballot into the ballot box.
This concludes your experience at your polling station on Election Day.
Presiding Officers are also key individuals at polling stations, as it’s their responsibility to oversee all the day’s proceedings. They function as managers of the stations and they liaise with police officers assigned to polling stations. Voters are not usually required to interact with these Officers unless something goes awry.