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Postal vote opening | Sandwell Council

Postal vote opening

Each year we send out around 24,000 postal votes to voters across Sandwell.

Once they are returned, they need to be opened and sorted before they are included in the count on election night.

We have teams of people opening postal votes from a couple of weeks before polling day right up to the day of the election.

There is also a postal vote opening session held on polling day itself, usually at the count venue.

All staff will be required to use a rapid test to check they do not have Covid-19. Find out how to get rapid tests to use at home if you are working at the postal vote opening venue.

Postal vote assistants

Postal vote assistants open the returned postal vote envelopes and sort them into piles. Once the signature part of the postal vote pack has been scanned and checked, postal vote assistants then verify the number of postal ballot papers and pack them up, ready to be taken to the count. Postal vote opening is usually done at Sandwell Council House. For the May 2021 election, postal votes will be opened at Wednesbury Town Hall.

There is also a session run at the count itself, as a number of postal votes are returned to polling stations on polling day.

Payment is by the hour, with the exact hours of work dependent on the volume of returned envelopes. 

Full training is provided at the first opening session by experienced supervisors. 

Sign up to open postal votes

If you’ve previously worked opening postal votes for Sandwell Council, we already have your details and the elections team will be in touch with you about your role.

If you volunteered to work at the 2020 elections before they were postponed, we will contact you.

If you would like to apply to open postal votes and you haven't done this before, apply by filling in this form.