Returning Officer Pool

The Western Australian Electoral Commission is seeking to add suitably qualified and experienced individuals to its pool of Returning Officers.

Background: The Western Australian Electoral Commission conducts both state and local government elections and referenda, as well as a range of fee for service elections for various unions, universities and community organisations.

Individual State electoral district and local government elections are managed by a returning officer (RO) appointed by the Electoral Commissioner. This is a senior, highly responsible position supervising the conduct of an election for a Member of State Parliament or a local government Mayor, Shire President or Councillors.

The Commissioner appoints returning officers for a specified election period on an as needs basis from a pool of trained and experienced individuals.  Thus the work is for a fixed time period and casual part-time in nature. Returning officers are employed for local and State electoral districts located across the breadth of Western Australia.

The next State general election is scheduled for 13 March 2021, while the next local government ordinary elections will take place in October 2019.

Job Description: Duties can vary depending on the type of election, however the role typically includes inspecting and booking polling places; receiving nominations and liaising with candidates; selecting, training and supervising staff; receiving and distributing election materials; coordinating polling activities; supervising vote counting activities and declaring the result; and completing various election reports.

A Returning Officer is required to be available for the duration of an election period, however there are distinct peaks and troughs in the volume of work to coincide with different election phases and activities. Duties will involve some evening and weekend work.

Selection Criteria: Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can meet the following essential selection criteria –
•    Demonstrated administration, management and project management skills, including the ability to work to non-negotiable deadlines
•    Well-developed written communication, verbal and interpersonal skills
•    Team leadership skills and the ability to work as a flexible team member
•    Demonstrated ability to train and supervise staff
•    Sound computer literacy skills, including the use of spreadsheets, interactive forms and tables
•    Evidence of sound numeracy skills, an eye for detail and the ability to follow required procedures.

Some knowledge and experience of electoral processes (or their equivalent) is regarded as highly desirable. In addition, applicants must have no active involvement or official connection with a political party or intending candidate; a current drivers licence and access to a motor vehicle; and access to the internet.

Applications are invited from men and women, people residing in all parts of the State, retirees, and people in either full-time or part-time work. Indigenous Western Australians and those who can speak a second language are encouraged to apply. Irrespective of your circumstances, you must be able to commit to making the required amount of time available if appointed to a particular election; this may entail taking periods of short leave from regular employment. Prior to any major electoral event, mandatory Returning Officer training is conducted.

Remuneration: Returning Officers conducting State Parliamentary district elections are paid a flat fee, which depending on the size of the electorate and the number of polling places and special institutions ranges from about $13,000 to $18,000. Travel allowances and the reimbursement of approved expenses also apply.

Returning Officers conducting local government postal elections in 2019 will be paid a flat fee, which depending on the number of candidates that nominate, ranges from $4,930 to $11,410 for contested elections. A flat fee of $2,750 is paid where no ballots within a local government district go past the nominations stage (i.e. all candidates are elected unopposed). Travel allowances and the reimbursement of approved expenses also apply.

Further Information: For further details about the role of a Returning Officer, contact Chris Avent, Deputy Electoral Commissioner or Kay Heron, Election Event Manager on 9214 0400.

Application Instructions: To express your interest in being considered for shortlisting and possible interview, send an up-to-date resume (including any electoral experience you may have) by email marked “RO Expression of Interest -< your name>” to by Wednesday 19 December 2018.

Shortlisted persons will be invited to attend a non-mandatory information session in January 2019 and submit an online application by the end of that month. A second stage shortlisting will then be conducted to determine those applicants who will be invited for interview. Successful applicants will be added to the pool.