Covid-19 & Modern Polling, The Digital Poll Clerk: Understanding and Addressing the Risks You Face


For over 20 years, we’ve been developing software that has been transforming how local authorities manage the delivery of Elections, our current solution focuses on Election Day. 

In light of Covid-19, the benefits Modern Polling, the Digital Poll Clerk, offers in terms of staff safety, security, minimising touchpoints at the polling station and queuing, are even clearer…

Any kind of election delivery is labour intensive and stressful for local authority teams. Since the beginning of this pandemic and throughout, we’ve been having sustained conversations with our local authority partners, both current and potential, and we understand the increased pressure and risks they face.

First national and now local lockdowns have caused many elections to be cancelled. The immediate concern is that there is pressure to ensure that the elections will be held next May and will now be multiple combined deliveries. We understand that staff will have to manage several ballots on a single day.

Those are not the only concerns. Local authorities also must now factor in staff safety and additional risk assessment measures. That’s even before thinking about how they will deal with increased staff illness among experienced Polling Staff and often at the last minute.

There will also be issues around electorate safety and voters who need to nominate an emergency proxy, possibly due to sudden illness and again at the last minute.

On Election Day, minimising numbers of staff and minimising queuing time for voters will be key to mitigating risk for everyone at the polling station.

Modern Polling, the Digital Poll Clerk, already incorporates the features that can mitigate the risks that you face:


Modern Polling, the Digital Poll Clerk, requires just one Poll Clerk to ‘check in’ a voter using a self-scan QR code or a simple search facility. This enables staff social distancing (staff not side by side) and frees up poll clerks to manage new challenges such as sanitation and guiding voters safely to where they need to be.


It’s a reality and a concern that many experienced polling station Staff are older people and therefore more at risk. This poses increased concerns around staff safety and recruiting replacements. Modern Polling, the Digital Poll Clerk, automatically mitigates risk for all staff and, because it is easy to use, it’s also quick to train existing and new staff.


Voters will have many concerns about spending time in busy public places and touching paper or other items that have been handled by others. Modern Polling, the Digital Poll Clerk, minimises touchpoints and automates the process as much as possible, allowing voters to be processed quickly and so minimising time spent queuing. This is essential to both voter confidence and the success of an election delivery.


There are many benefits of a digital register which can be updated easily and at the last minute, in a Covid secure environment this means that emergency proxies can be implemented instantly.  Most importantly, digitally recording the time a voter casts their vote means that track and trace is quickly activated if needed.


With the capacity and capability to manage multiple combined elections, Modern Polling, the Digital Poll Clerk, can transform what could be a multiple headache into a simple, straightforward process by finding voters on the digital register faster, issuing ballots faster and automating the Corresponding Number List and Ballot Paper Account which ensures 100% accuracy.

If you are personally responsible for the success of an election delivery, it’s good to know that Modern Polling, the Digital Poll Clerk, plays an important role in helping to mitigate risk and maximise voter confidence. 

Our Solution’s features and benefits are already market leading, proven on the day, time saving, safe and secure. Just some of the reasons why it is trusted by the Cabinet Office.

Talk to us now about how we can help you to tick all of the boxes at your next Election delivery.

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Published By


Siobhan Donaghy
Chief Executive Officer at Modern Democracy