How to Volunteer as an Election Poll Worker

( – Interested in helping out your community and your country this election season? Consider volunteering as an election poll worker. There’s a national shortage of poll workers, so if you are able, it’s a great way to get civically involved.

Election jobs can vary, and may depend on your ability and availability, but consider that on voting day, many poll workers can work 12-hour days.

There are some considerations to keep in mind. Depending on where you’re located, you may need to jump through some hoops. First steps include finding out if you need to be registered in the state you’re volunteering, as well as whether there is an age, residency or party affiliation requirement.

If you meet these standards (and any others that might be particular to your location) you should know that many states are desperate for bilingual poll workers, as some states and districts require polling information to be posted in multiple languages.

The next step is to contact your local election office and sign up to be an official election worker. Understand that you may be assigned to a specific polling location that’s different from what you’re used to. Many jurisdictions have multiple polling areas, as well as varying needs on election day.

Make sure you know when and where to arrive, and exactly who you’re supposed to report to. You don’t want to show up at the wrong place, at the wrong time, unsure of your contact. If you’re unfamiliar with your assigned polling location, make sure you review the travel route ahead of time. Each polling location should have a dedicated manager who you can ask any questions of or report any problems to.

Still not sure if poll volunteering is right for you? In some areas, poll workers can get paid for their work, over $100 a day in some locations. You should also consider that democracy does not work without involvement from people in the community.

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