Appointing a scrutineer

A scrutineer is someone a candidate chooses to watch over election activities on their behalf. They play an important role in ensuring the fair conduct of elections.

Scrutineers can observe when:

  • ballot packs are posted
  • post office boxes are opened and emptied
  • ballot boxes are opened and emptied
  • ballot paper envelopes are processed
  • ballot papers are extracted
  • votes are counted.

They can also challenge ballot paper formality during the vote counting.

A candidate cannot be a scrutineer for themselves or any other candidates.

The Scrutineer Handbook provides everything you need to know about a scrutineer’s role in a local council election.

How to become a scrutineer

Before you can observe an election activity, you must be appointed by a candidate. You need to:

  • complete an 'Appointment and declaration of scrutineer form' (available closer to the election period)
  • make sure your candidate has signed the form
  • bring the candidate-signed form to the venue and sign the declaration section in front of an election official during registration.