More than 1,700 citizens in Polk County serve as Election Workers for the Supervisor of Elections to ensure that fair and accurate elections are conducted. On Election Day, we count on these civic-minded individuals to efficiently process voters, provide instructions on the proper use of the voting equipment, and effectively solve potential problems that voters may encounter. Election Workers are paid for their work on Election Day. For more information on how to get involved, click here or call us at 863-534-5888.
WHAT OUR ELECTION WORKERS SAY ABOUT WORKING AT THE POLLS:
"It is a great experience; a lot of fun, and you get to meet new people."
-- Bob Adams, Lakeland
"It's a day to serve your country. It's a day to visit with neighbors. It's a day to feel proud to be an American."
-- Bonnie Strine, Winter Haven
"It's a long day but the training is good and the feeling of accomplishment is wonderful."
-- Barbara Haromy, Lake Wales
"There is a BIG return for the time invested."
-- Jean Weybright, Lakeland
REQUIREMENTS FOR ELECTION WORKERS IN POLK COUNTY:
There are a few basic requirements that must be met in order to become an Election Worker. They include:
- Must be a registered voter in Polk County, or eligible to register.
- Must be able to read and write the English language.
- Must be able to work a long, 14+ hour day. (You may not leave and return to the polling place.)
- Must attend mandatory training before each election worked.
- Must be present on Election Day from 6 am until all work is complete after the closing of the polls at 7 pm.
- Must be willing to deal with the public in a courteous, efficient and patient manner.
ELECTION WORKER POSITIONS:
- Precinct Clerk - responsible for the overall management of the activities and workers in the polling place. Ensures order is maintained and the Election Board performs its duties correctly on Election Day. Precinct Clerks also contact workers to schedule work and training, pick up supplies at Election Headquarters before each election, and return supplies to Election Headquarters on Election Night with another Election Worker.
- Voter Information Specialist - completes the appropriate forms to update the record of an eligible voter, and communicates with Election Headquarters to resolve any questions. Computer experience is required. Trained to substitute for the Precinct Clerk, should that person be unable to serve.
- Book Inspector - responsible for properly processing voters, issuing ballots, and setting up and breaking down the polling room.
- Voting Equipment Operator - responsible for the proper operation and security of the optical scan and audio ballot voting equipment, transmitting election results after the polls close, and overseeing the voting equipment at all times. Also assists with setting up and breaking down the polling room.
- Deputy - hired by the Supervisor of Elections and deputized by the Polk County Sheriff to maintain law and order outside the polling place. Also assists voters as needed, posts signs, ensures accessibility, and assists in setting up and breaking down the polling room. The Deputy is subject to all lawful commands of the Precinct Clerk.
- Alternate - additional Election Workers who are hired and trained for the specific purpose of being ready to work on an as-needed basis. Alternates do not report to a polling place until contacted by the Elections Office and remain available to report to a polling place until 9 am on Election Day.
On Election Day, Election Workers work as a team with the Supervisor of Elections staff to ensure the integrity of the Election process and to guarantee the voting rights of all qualified voters in Polk County.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS IT A PAID POSITION?
Yes. Election Workers are paid for training plus a flat rate for the day. Total pay ranges from $106-$250 per election, depending on the position held. No compensation is available for Election Worker orientation events.
WHAT ARE THE DUTIES?
- Report to your polling place by 6 am on Election Day
- Assist in preparing the polling place for voting
- Greet voters warmly and process them for voting
- Demonstrate our voting procedure
- Process ballots, forms and other election documents with accuracy
- Assist with closing the polls
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO WORK AS AN ELECTION WORKER?
To serve as an Election Worker you must:
- Be a registered voter in Polk County or eligible to register
- Be available to attend the required Election Worker training classes
- Be available to work a minimum of 14 hours on election day
- Perform written, verbal, and physical duties as assigned
- Be able to lift at least 15 lbs
- Be willing to deal with the public in an efficient, courteous and patient manner
IS ELECTION WORKER ORIENTATION REQUIRED?
Yes. All potential Election Workers are required to attend an orientation meeting, and will have the opportunity to fill out an application to work at the polls. No compensation is available for Election Worker orientation meetings.
IS TRAINING REQUIRED?
Yes. Election Workers are required to attend Election Worker training classes before each election and are paid to attend the training sessions. There will be specialized sessions for each position, as well as general training. Clerks and Voter Information Specialists will attend training together. Voting Equipment Operators will have hands-on training with the equipment, and Deputies and Book Inspectors will have special instruction. You will not be eligible to work if you do not attend and complete your required training and testing. Absent an emergency, you must serve in your designated position on Election Day to receive compensation for training.
IS THERE A TEST?
Yes. At orientation, each potential Election Worker must pass a short basic skills assessment that measures ability to do simple arithmetic and alphabetizing. At the completion of training, Election Workers must pass a quiz which measures their understanding of the duties of the position they have been trained to fill on Election Day.
WHERE WILL I WORK?
While we try to assign Election Workers to their preferred polling place, Election Workers must be willing to work at nearby location if needed.
IF I DO NOT WORK IN MY VOTING PRECINCT, HOW DO I VOTE?
Election Workers working outside of their voting precinct should request an mail in ballot and return the voted ballot to our office before Election Day, or vote early at one of our early voting sites.