Guidance and resources for Returning Officers administering local government elections taking place in England and Wales, as well as our guidance for Combined Authority Returning Officers administering a combined authority mayoral election in England

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Part A

Returning Officer role and responsibilities

This part covers:

  • How to use this guidance
  • The Returning Officer's role, responsibilities, skills and knowledge
  • Our performance standards for Returning Officers

Part A: Returning Officer role and responsibilities (PDF)

Part B

Planning and organisation

This part covers:

  • Planning (including the identification and training of staff, the selection and booking of venues and management of contractors and suppliers)
  • How to maintain the integrity of the election
  • Raising awareness
  • Access to proceedings by electoral observers and Commission representatives

Part B: Planning and organisation (PDF)

Part C

Administering the poll

This part covers:

  • The nomination period (including access to the register by candidates, spending limits and the nominations process)
  • The production of notices, poll cards and ballot papers
  • Polling station voting

Part C: Administering the Poll (PDF)

Part F

After the declaration of result

This part covers:

  • Storage and disposal of documents
  • Post-election activities
  • Challenges to the result
  • Review of election procedures

Part F: After the declaration of the result (PDF)

CARO guidance

Guidance for Combined Area Returning Officers administering a combined area Mayoral election in England

This part covers:

  • Combined Area Returning Officer's role, responsibilities and knowledge
  • Our guidance and performance standards for Combined Area Returning Officers

Guidance for Combined Area Returning Officers - Delivery of key processes (PDF)