Who counts the East Devon votes through the night once the polling stations close?

If you have ever wondered who counts your vote in East Devon once the polling stations close, local democracy reporter Bradley Gerrard explains.

Small pencils, hushed village halls and ballot papers are among the familiar aspects of a general election, but once your votes are cast, who actually counts them?

Arguably the most important part of the voting process is the totting up of the numbers to see which candidate has emerged victorious.

As this takes place through the night, few members of the public see this bit in person, and may only see snippets of news clips and interviews of candidates where vote counting is taking place in the background.

So, who are the vote counters in East Devon?

For East Devon District Council, which is overseeing the vote counting for two new constituencies – Exmouth and Exeter East, and Honiton and Sidmouth – it is a variety of people.

A spokesperson for the council said those counting votes include its own staff, people who work for other councils, former members of staff and other people who sign up to help.

“There will be a mixture of people, some who volunteer and others who perform key roles, such as the returning officer and elections manager, who need to be present where a count takes place,” the spokesman said.

East Devon

The East Devon News newshounds joined scores of #dogsatpollingstations on Thursday, July 4, 2024.
Photo: EDN.

In terms of vetting people, the only check East Devon does is to make sure people have the right to work in the UK.

East Devon

A count taking place in Exeter in 2002.
Photo: LDRS.

And there is some pay. “The Electoral Commission provides the council with a pot of money that covers the cost of running an election, and this will include a payment for those helping with the count,” the spokesperson said.

More than 140 people will be working overnight to make sure each and every ballot paper is counted.

East Devon is hosting its election count at the Ada Lovelace Building, located at the Exeter Science Park.


General Election 2024: All the candidates for Exmouth and Exeter East; Honiton and Sidmouth; Exeter