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Election chief puts call out for workers - could snap election be in the offing?

By Michael Sheils McNamee

A call has been made for additional election staff to help beef up numbers for a potential snap election.

The Electoral Office has advertised for 'casual electoral assistants'.

Given the ongoing political stalemate in Northern Ireland and the Conservative's tentative grasp on power at Westminster, there is a potential for two more elections this year.

However, Chief Electoral Office Virginia McVea told the Belfast Telegraph the job ads were a matter of procedure and the organisation had to be prepared for future elections, whenever they may be.

"The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland has been on standby and remains on standby should an election be called," she said.

"We do from time to time seek to refresh our bank of casual staff. We recruit around 5,000 members of the public at election times and we seek to keep a bank available," she said.

Formal talks to re-establish the Northern Ireland Executive were brought to a close on July 6, but the parties have said that negotiations have been ongoing during the summer recess.

Should there be no agreement after the break, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire will be required to either call a fresh election or to re-establish direct rule.

The deadline to apply for the jobs is August 18.

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