General Information


What are the requirements to be an election worker?

To become an election worker, you must be a District of Columbia resident and be registered to vote in the District. If you are interested in becoming an election worker, but not yet registered, you can work at the polls as long as you register prior to attending a training class. You cannot be a candidate or nominee for any elected office and cannot work for a political party, political committee, or campaign.

The Board requires that Election workers:

  • Must be able to read, write, and speak English;
  • Be able to perform basic math;
  • Have a strong understanding of, and commitment to, nonpartisanship;
  • Have the ability to communicate in a friendly and effective manner with voters;
  • Attend and pass a training class prior to the election;
  • Work at an assigned polling location, assist with setting up the polling place the day before the election, work from 6:00 am until approximately 10:00 pm on Election Day.

Good qualities an election worker should have:

  • Work as a team player and do what is expected of you
  • Keep a positive attitude
  • Enjoy fellowship with their diverse community
  • Have good attention to detail
  • Be able to exercise neutrality
  • Be able to handle stressful situation s while remaining professional



What hours will I work?

On the Monday prior to Elect ion Day, you will meet at you r assigned polling place to receive the supplies for your precinct and set it up; this usually takes 1 to 3 hours. The exact meeting time varies and will be coordinated by the Precinct Captain and communicated to you approximately two weeks before the election.

Election worker s are required to work on Election Day from 6:00 am until approximately 9:00 pm or until released by the Precinct Captain. This allows one hour at the start of the day to ensure that everything is ready for the polls to open at 7:00 am. One hour at the end of the day is required for closing procedures after the polls close at 8:00 pm.

How do I get chosen to work early voting?

In addition to Election Day, the Board sometimes employs a limited number of workers for Early Voting. They are assigned to shifts based upon need. Early Voting workers should be available to work approximately four shifts, including the weekend. Shifts typically will not exceed a total amount earned of $600 for working. Workers are assigned to one of nine Early Voting Polling locations.

Where will I work?

Polling places are located throughout the city in schools, libraries, recreation centers, and churches. You will be assigned t o a site near your home, if possible. You may be asked to travel to other parts of the city to meet staffing needs for Elect ion Day since some precincts may have more workers available than others. You are asked a question on your application to indicate your flexibility and travel options on Election Day.



Do I need training?

You MUST attend a mandatory training class prior to each election to keep up-to-date on new equipment and policy changes, and becoming refreshed on the duties and tasks of the job. This is a requirement under DC law.

If selected to work, you will be contacted by Board staff to schedule your training date prior to the election. Workers are given orientation materials, a Polling Place Operations Manual, and a short overview of how the polls operate at the start of each t raining session. Workers are trained on the elements of a specific position or positions.



How am I paid?

You are paid a one-time stipend for each election. This stipend covers t raining, work to set up the day before the election, and work on Election Day. In the past, these payments were broken up, but they now are all one payment. Payment is issued only after you have completed training and worked on Election Day.

How much am I paid?

The stipend is between $180 and $250 depending on the position the election worker holds. Positions pay differently as some require more training and responsibilities than others. Your position will be chosen by the Board in consultation wit h your Precinct Captain and is based upon your previous experience, your skills, and the needs of the precinct. Early voting workers are paid at an hourly rate to be set prior to the election.

What happens if I am late or fail to report to my precinct?

If you fail to report on time or do not work the entire day on Election Day your payment amount will be prorated. If you do not show up to work at all, you will not be paid. Training and setup day are not paid if the worker does not show up on Election Day.

When will I receive my payment from working on Election Day?

Election worker payments for both Election Day and Early Voting are sent via check and will arrive roughly 4-6 weeks after Election Day.

Are there any reasons why I will not be asked to return as an election worker?

Workers sign an Election Worker Oath when attending a training class. When you sign the oath, you agree and understand that failure to follow the code of conduct on Election Day can result in your removal from the precinct. Workers who do not show on Election Day, do not pass their training class, who receive poor worker reviews, or are abusive to staff are not asked to return.

Time off from work to serve as a election worker

DC law regarding time off or leave for the day, is based on you r employer's guidelines. You can find more information about this on DC Human Resources website Issuance 12-318



How do I sign up?

To become an election worker, complete the online application. You will receive a letter confirming we have received your application. Workers who have previously worked on an election from 2010 up to the present do NOT need to complete a new application. If you are not sure, call 202-741-5283 for details.

How do I know if I've been selected?

Not everyone who applies will be assigned to work. Workers are selected based upon need, applicable skills, geographical requirements, and work history.

The Board will contact you several months prior to an election to determine if you are available on that specific date. Workers are then selected and placed in polling precincts. The Board will con tact you to set up with a date and time for your training class and to inform you of your assignment for the election.

What happens if your home precinct is full?

The Board will make every effort to place you at a location nearby your home if there is availability at your local precinct or a nearby precinct. We will inform you of the location and address to make sure this is somewhere you arrive by 6am the morning of Election Day and return home safely after you have left the precinct.



What are election workers responsibilities?

Election workers are assigned to specific positions at each polling place to make sure voters are being served appropriately on Election Day. Below is a brief description of each position.

Check-in Clerk-is responsible for processing all eligible voters and refers t h at voter t o a Special Ballot Clerk when appropriate.

Ballot Clerk-ensures that a voter receives the correct paper ballot and al so assist s voters at the ballot marking device.

Voter Assistance Clerk-is responsible for pro viding assistance and explaining the voting procedures to voters.

Special Ballot Clerk-is responsible for ensuring that all voters who are not able to cast a live ballot are allowed to vote a special ballot.

How does an election worker vote?

On Election Day, you may or may not be working at your assigned voting location. Sometimes late changes to assignments are necessary, so we recommend you vote by mail or at an early voting center before Election Day.



What do I wear to work on Election Day?

Your appearance and hygiene are important. You are expected to dress neatly.

  • Wear clean, comfortable clothes that are appropriate for serving the public-business casual is recommended.
  • Make sure to bring a jacket or sweater in case your polling place is cooler than outside.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.

What should I bring with me on Election Day?

  • Pack all foods, drinks, and snacks you will need for the day.
  • Bring any medicine you will need to have with you.
  • Bring something to read to keep entertained during your down time.

What can I not wear?

  • Any campaign attire (shirts, hats, buttons, etc.,)

Thank you for your interest in serving your community and for protecting the right to vote for the citizens of the District of Columbia!

Note: While performing their official duties at the polls, Election Day Workers may not engage in political activity or campaign for or against any candidate or measure on the ballot.

DC Board of Elections
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 270 North
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 727-2525 | TTY: (202) 639-8916 | Tollfree: 1-866-DC-VOTES