Federal Election 2016 : The Australian Electoral Commission Temporary and election employment

The AEC employs approximately 70 000 polling officials for each federal election. The AEC also maintains a register of interest which may be accessed to fill other temporary positions throughout the periods between elections.

What to expect working on an election

What temporary positions are available?

Temporary employees may be engaged for short periods of time for specific electoral activities in the following categories:

  1. Temporary Office Assistants
  2. Polling Officials
  3. Voter Information Officers

How do I apply for temporary employment?

Registering online is a two step process:

  1. The first step is to register for an account.
    • You will be asked to provide contact details, basic personal information and answer a number of yes/no questions. Once you complete this step, you will be sent a username and password to your mobile phone or email address.
  2. Once you receive your username and password, the second step is to submit a Registration of Interest.
    • To do this, you will need to logon with your login details and complete your Registration of Interest.
      Please note: it is important that you select the declaration at the top of the summary page and click the submit button. Your information will not load into the system until you have completed this step.

Character clearance

Some temporary employees may be required to undertake a character clearance. This involves agreeing to have a police record check into your background.

For more information about character checks please visit the character checks webpage.


Political neutrality

The AEC operates in a politically sensitive environment. Any person who is, and is seen to be, active in political affairs, and intends to publicly carry on this activity, may compromise the strict political neutrality of the AEC. An employee who does not adhere to the standard of political neutrality may have his or her employment terminated.

Paying income tax

Most Australian citizens who work in Australia pay income tax during the year via the "pay as you go" method – where the employer works out how much income tax to take out of the individual's wages and sends it on to the ATO. You may apply for exemption of tax to be deducted from your wages, if you meet the necessary criteria.

Do I have to be an Australian citizen to work for the AEC?

The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 does not specifically require applicants for temporary employment to be Australian citizens, however certain categories of temporary employment require the witnessing of documentation, and thus must be undertaken by enrolled electors.

Are there age limits to working with the AEC?

Persons under the age of 18 years are not permitted (due to legislative restrictions) to work as an Officer in Charge, Second in Charge or an Issuing Officer. However, persons under the age of 18 years are able to undertake roles such as temporary assistants or scrutiny assistants.

Assistance for Indigenous applicants

The AEC is committed to creating a staffing profile at polling places that reflects the cultural diversity of the communities we serve and to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage in electoral participation.

Staff from the AEC's Indigenous and Community Engagement Team are available to assist Indigenous applicants with information on available jobs, working conditions and preparing and submitting an application.

If you are interested in temporary employment at a polling place please contact the AEC's Indigenous and Community Engagement Team.

I receive a government payment. Will election work for the AEC affect my benefit?

For advice on how election work may affect your payments please read the information provided on the Department of Human Services website.

What terms and conditions apply to this work?

The AEC Collective Determination sets the terms and conditions for temporary employment under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. Pay rates vary depending on the type of role undertaken.

Acknowledgement and declaration of key obligations upon engagement

All temporary staff employed to work at electoral events are required to sign the Acknowledgement and Declaration of Key Obligations upon Engagement (ADKO) form prior to the commencement of election duties. The ADKO form will be supplied directly to you as part of the initial Offer of Employment.

Social Media

The AEC Social Media Policy for temporary employees establishes guidance, procedures and protocol for temporary employees considering accessing or using social media in all its forms.

Performance Standards

This policy outlines the performance standards for Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 employees.

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