Polling Clerks: Why are these jobs not given to Unemployed not retired c servants etc

Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by Ash 22, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Ash 22

    Ash 22 Frequent Poster

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    I went to vote this morning and at one of the booths sat a great grandmother and another lady who is holding down a job. Another booth had a retired man and the other people I did not recognise. Why with so many people out of work were these jobs not given to unemployed people. I don't know how much the polling clerks get for the day but I think its a nice enough sum.
     
  2. bamboozle

    bamboozle Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    i know 5 people who were running the show in my election centre, 3 civil servants, 1 retired civil servant and 1 retired teacher.
     
  3. The_Banker

    The_Banker Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    The rate for a junior polling clerk is €485 for a days work from 7:00AM - 10:00PM.
    Thats before tax.

    I know a person doing this today who got the job about 5 years ago at the height of the boom. The thing about this position is once your in, your in and they will keep coming back to the same people on their database for each election.
    During the Celtic Tiger they were looking for people to do the job and my friend was asked (by someone else who was a polling clerk) if she would be interested in doing it. She agreed and now she gets called for each election.
    The person who asked her if she would be interested had asked about 10 other people and they all refused.
    Now whenever there is an election she just books a days annual leave in advance and does a days work clerking.
    As a junior she crosses off the names on the register when people present the polling card. The person who stamps the voting sheet is considered a senior clerk, gets more money (although I don't know how much) and is answerable to an even more senior clerk who would be responsible for the entire polling station.
    In the past she has received letters from the returning officer for the ward/constituency when candidates complained about votes that were incorrect/spoiled because they were put in the wrong ballot box or if the ballot sheet was torn (it should be checked by the clerk before put into the ballot box). The letter would warn staff that they could be fired in the event of a repeat. However, she tells me its the same faces for each election.
     
  4. Bubbly Scot

    Bubbly Scot Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Cool, I can let of a bit off steam here without opening another thread.

    I went to vote and two elderly ladies were manning the desk. They couldn't find me for ages on their form, I pointed out my name. Then they discovered my number didn't match the one on their form..no problem though.

    Was handed two voting slips and directed to a booth and then called back because one Lady had failed to notice I had a "D" next to my name.

    She then consulted her book or whatever it was and decided all was well just as I commented that I am restricted in some of my voting (for being foreign). She told me to carry on to the booth and I asked, just to be sure... "so this is ok, I can vote on these two?"..and the cheeky mare said "well ofcourse you can, that's why they sent you a polling card"

    Okay, so had I been American without Irish citizenship would she still have given me the European voting form because they sent me a polling card?

    Little ladies behind big desks on a power trip!
     
  5. The_Banker

    The_Banker Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Very true,
    I was asked for ID this morning when I voted and I produced my driving licence. A licence last for 10 years and mine is nearly up so the picture of me had a lot more hair and was a lot slimer than me now :) so she make me produce more ID. I produced my credit card/ATM card with my name on it and after a lot of humming and hawing I received my voting slips.
    No one else seem to get ID'd by the little old ladies.....
     
  6. Ash 22

    Ash 22 Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    I can't believe they get that much for the day, all the more reason to have people there who would be more needy of this money.
     
  7. DublinTexas

    DublinTexas Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    I think of voting as a civic duty and of the people who help with the voting going the extra mile and I for sure am happy that they get paid 485€ for 13 hours of an important job.

    Now in my polling place the only offical in the whole place under the age of 50 was the guard standing at the entrance who cheerfully greeted people showing up.

    The junior clerk (by rank only) could not find me because she confused my first with my lastname (common problem due to my lastname being usualy a firstname) and even after trying to find me by the number she did not succeed. After discussion with the senior clerk and finaly putting her glasses on she than found me in her lists.

    She handed me the ballot paper and told me to go over into the corner to vote (no cabins just an area of tables). Knowing the process I looked at her and asked her if she did not forget something to which she said, no why? After pointing to the stamping machine the senior clerk blamed me for confusing her and finaly stamped my ballot paper.

    On the tables there were only pencils and I wonder if they now just could use a rubber to void my vote.

    What do we do when all of these old people are unable to do their job because they can't read anymore?
     
  8. becky

    becky Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    My brother did this a few years ago. My moms friend works in the Court House and they were short the day before. He did the job for about 3 elections and one year he couldn't make it so wasn't asked again. I seem to remember him getting £70 or so for the day but maybe he didn't want us to know how much he made.
     
  9. csirl

    csirl Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    I know a couple of non-Irish citizens who were given Constitutional Referendum voting slips at the last referendum even though they have no entitlement to vote in these.
     
  10. Ash 22

    Ash 22 Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    I don't think anybody would mind going the extra mile for 32 euro per hour for their 15 hours. I honestly think in the times we're in thats absolutely crazy for what they do. Granted as I already said in an earlier post if these were unemployed people then it could maybe be justifiied. The job is not rocket science and no disrespect to anybody doing it but a primary school child could do it. What do they do apart from cross out your name on the register and pull out a couple of sheets and stamp them. They have a great long day chatting to their pal beside them and to the voters who come along. I did poll clerk a few times years ago when I can't even think was it 20 pounds or less I got for the day. At that stage there was myself and the presiding officer now I go in and see people sitting at 3 different tables waiting for voters to come in. This is a country area and 2 people would still do the job fine. I presume its the same in other areas clerks in abundance.
     
  11. Darthvadar

    Darthvadar Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Speaking of Garda... Is it a requirement that there be a garda present at the Polling Station during polling???...

    I voted at about 8am... There was no garda at that time, and they weren't expecting one until about 3pm... Is this unusual???...

    Darth...
     
  12. SarahMc

    SarahMc Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Anyone, unemployed or otherwise can apply for the position of polling clerk. Just write with your CV to the Returning Officer in your County stating your interest in the position.

    It is a different story with the people counting the votes - that is a closed shop.
     
  13. becky

    becky Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Thats what I heard as well and I thought it was these who got the big money.
     
  14. SarahMc

    SarahMc Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Yes, its very well paid, espacially if the count goes on into the night, but in fairness, it is a responsible job (having said that there are enough people watching your every move to ensure mistakes are seldom made).

    AFAIK you cannot apply for this position, I think they are all civil servants on a day's annual leave.
     
  15. Ash 22

    Ash 22 Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

     
  16. gabsdot

    gabsdot Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    The lady let my 5 year old son stamp my voting sheets.
    Can he get on the payroll?
     
  17. Ash 22

    Ash 22 Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Well if a great grandmother can, why not a tiny tot! We need some balance in the workforce.
     
  18. emaol

    emaol Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Just got back from the vote, and who should be the senior clerk but the principal of the school which was closed for the day to facilitate the vote.
    That just seems wrong to me in lots of ways.
     
  19. SarahMc

    SarahMc Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    I agree, although I would advertise on the FAS and publicjobs.ie website as that is free.

    I think the only essential requirement is that you are not a member of a political party.
     
  20. The_Banker

    The_Banker Frequent Poster

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    Re: Polling Clerks.

    Just spoke with my friend who is a junior clerk (crosses out the names) at the polling station.
    The senior clerk (who stamps the ballot paper) gets €620 for the day. This person also has to seal the ballot box after the voting is complete and ensure that it is taken away by the Garda on duty.
    The money is taxed at the lower rate regardless of whether or not you pay tax at the higher or lower rate.
    At least that is the info I have been given.