Campaigning can be a lot of work, and Candidates often seek help in knocking on doors, putting up campaign signs, or handing out materials. Candidates and Official Agents must ensure that their campaign workers know the rules and present themselves responsibly.
Most campaign workers are volunteers. Volunteer labour is any service provided free of charge. Remember, volunteer labour does not include services provided by someone who would normally provide those services as part of their employment.
You are allowed to hire personnel to work on your campaign. Any money paid to campaign workers must be reported as an election expense.
A Polling Agent is a person who represents a Candidate at a polling station on polling day, to observe the casting and counting of ballots.
A Polling Agent must be appointed by a Candidate using the Appointment of Candidates Polling Agent (form 2160). More than one Polling Agent can be appointed, but only one Polling Agent per Candidate can be at a polling station at any given time.
In central polling places that contain more than one polling station, a Candidate may have one Polling Agent for each station.
Checking in at the poll
When they arrive at a polling station, the Polling Agent must show their completed Appointment of Candidate’s Polling Agent (form 2160) to the Deputy Returning Officer without delay and take an oath.
Once the Polling Agent has taken the oath and received a name tag from the Deputy Returning Officer, they can come and go from the polling station for the duration of the poll. The Polling Agent must have their Appointment of Candidate’s Polling Agent form with them whenever they are at a polling station.
The use or display of any campaign material or messages is prohibited inside polling places.
Conduct during the poll
During the time the poll is open, the Polling Agent may examine the Poll Book or the List of Electors. However, when doing so, they may not delay an elector from casting a ballot or interfere with an elector in any way.
The Polling Agent is also allowed to convey any information they obtain from examining the Poll Book or List of Electors to another Polling Agent who is outside the polling station.
While inside the polling station, a Polling Agent is not permitted to take photos, use a mobile device, or interfere in any way with electors or the voting process.
Observing the count
At the close of ordinary polling day, Polling Agents may witness the counting of ballots cast at Advance Polls, in the Office of the Returning Officer, and at an Ordinary Poll.
The Deputy Returning Officer will provide a Polling Agent with a tally sheet and at the end of the count, and Candidates or their Polling Agent will be provided with a Copy of Statement of Poll for Candidates and Agents (form 5060) for each ballot box counted in their presence.
A complete list of rules, instructions, and expectations for Polling Agent is found on page two of the Appointment of Candidate’s Polling Agent (form 2160) and in sections 126 through 128 of the Act.