Guidance for (Acting) Returning Officers administering a UK Parliamentary election in Great Britain

Deputy (Acting) Returning Officer appointments

You should put in place deputy arrangements in case you are unable to act personally as (A)RO. You may appoint deputies to discharge all or any of your duties1 and this can be for a limited time period or until further notice.

Any appointed deputies should have the skills and knowledge required to carry out the functions they have been assigned such as assisting with the receipt of nomination papers, managing the postal vote process or adjudication of doubtful ballot papers.

You should confirm any appointments in writing and include details of the functions that the deputy is authorised to exercise on your behalf. The acceptance should also be made in writing.

A Deputy (A)RO is liable, in the same way as the (A)RO, for a breach of official duty.2  

Cross-boundary constituencies

If, as (A)RO, you are responsible for a constituency that crosses local authority boundaries you should consider whether you want to delegate some of your functions in full or in part to a senior officer at the other local authority/authorities.  

Last updated: 19 December 2023