How to Be an Election Day Poll Worker. The United States election process depends on thousands of paid volunteers in all 50 states to serve as poll workers on Election Day every November. In Federal election years, more than 1.4 million poll workers staff an estimated 200,000 polling locations across the country. Every registered voter counts on poll workers to keep the democratic process running smoothly and ethically. It's easy to sign up and it only takes one day out of the year to participate.
Determine the exact date of the year's Election Day to make sure you will be available to work all day. A poll worker typically works 15 to 16 hours on Election Day.
Call or visit the website of the United States Election Assistance Commission, which provides contact information for each state on how to volunteer. Sign-up sheets also may be available early at voter locations. Only registered voters may serve as poll workers.
Decide what position to work, unless one has been appointed to you. Duties may include managing equipment, assisting the voter, checking in the voter or handling ballots. Other positions may include clerk, assistant clerk, inspector and deputy. Positions and pay vary widely by state.
Attend the mandatory training session, usually held a month or so before Election Day. Although procedures vary widely by state, the training session will cover everything you will need to know to work your position at the poll.
Arrive prepared and on time on Election Day, usually 6 or 7 a.m., depending on your state and location. Usually you will be assigned to your voting precinct, unless it's already fully staffed. Poll workers usually remain at their assigned stations all day, often until 8 or 9 p.m., unless otherwise instructed.
Only registered voters may serve as Election Day poll workers Only those who speak and write English may serve as poll workers