Poll workers are the backbone of our elections.
A chronic shortage of election workers nationwide threatens our democratic process.
More than half of cities and counties struggle to recruit enough workers needed to run free and fair elections, causing long lines to the polls. Waits tend to be longest at polling places that serve communities of color, where voters have historically faced barriers to the ballot.
Standing at the front lines of our democracy, poll workers have vital responsibilities: They set up voting machines, hand out ballots, assist voters with disabilities, check in voters, and review their IDs where they are required. (And – guess what – they can even get paid!)
When polling places aren’t prepared, our voices aren’t heard. All Voting is Local is working to recruit poll workers to safeguard our electoral process and ensure that every voter in every community has a voice.
So You Want to be a Poll Worker…But You Have Some Questions…
We Have Answers!
What do poll workers do?
Poll workers are the heart and soul of our electoral process. But a critical shortage nationwide threatens our elections. Poll workers have vital responsibilities. They set up voting machines, answer questions from voters, monitor the collection of ballots, and – when voters are done casting them – pass out those cool “I Voted” stickers! Without poll workers, elections don’t work. Period.
That sounds great, but I’ve never done this before. How do I know I’m qualified?
Do you want to serve your community? Do you believe elections should be free and fair? Do you think our democracy works best when ALL people are counted? Your time and enthusiasm are the most important requirements! In addition, to become a poll worker you must meet certain age and residency requirements. These can vary by state and county. To find the complete set of requirements for your county, look it up here.
That sounds like me. But I’m a little nervous – will I get trained?
YES! Every county runs its poll worker programs differently, but training is a key component across the nation. You’ll learn from the experts about how your county’s voting machines work, how to check in voters and what to do if voters have problems casting their ballots.
I think I’m ready for this. How many hours will I work?
Depending on your county, you could work a few hours, or the entire day. But rest assured, you’ll have plenty of company to pass the time and the satisfaction of knowing you empowered your community to have a voice in the election. Also, poll workers typically receive breaks for lunch and dinner!
OK, this sounds a little intense. Will I get paid?
If you live in one of the following states the answer is YES: Arizona, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Elsewhere, it depends. Since every state – and every county – sets its own rules for running elections, find out by looking up your county.
So, let’s say I get paid — how much will I make?
That depends! In the counties we work in, the average pay for poll workers on Election Day is $150. And not only that, some counties pay workers for taking part in training sessions!
Why are you recruiting poll workers?
Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and Election Day is our chance to show our voices matter. When polling places aren’t prepared, voters face long lines and needless obstacles to the ballot. We know this happens most in historically disenfranchised communities. That’s not fair and that’s not right. And we want to fix it. There is no doubt about it: poll workers make all the difference. Join us. Be the difference. Be a poll worker.