Frequently Asked Questions
What is the EAC College Poll Worker Program?
The purpose of the program is to encourage students enrolled at institutions of higher education to assist state and local governments in the administration of elections by serving as nonpartisan poll workers or assistants, and to encourage State and local governments to use the services of the students participating in the College Poll Worker Program.
What is a Poll Worker?
Poll Workers are the people who ensure the conduct of fair and accurate elections. They prepare the precinct by setting up voting equipment, greeting voters, verify registrations and providing voters with appropriate ballots. At the end of the day, Poll Workers close the precinct and prepare election materials for delivery or actually deliver the material to the Elections office.
What is a Poll Assistant?
Poll Assistants fill various local needs such as translators, working at the election office both before and on Election Day, and providing logistical support to the polling places. Many of the Assistant duties are activities that interact with the election officials and with voters to ensure the election runs smoothly. For example Poll Assistants help direct voters to their correct polling place if they are at the wrong polling place.
What is a Poll Watcher or Monitor?
Poll Watchers are typically connected to a political party or candidate who monitors the voting process. If they believe someone is fraudulently attempting to vote they may make a formal challenge. They are not connected to the official election office. Poll Monitors are typically nonpartisan observers of the process looking for incidents of fraud voter intimidation or abuse. State and local rules determine the specific role of Poll Watchers and Monitors.
Can I be a Poll Worker?
Typically Poll Workers are required to be a registered voter in the precinct or county where that they are serving. State and local voter registration rules vary on allowing college students who live at school to register to vote using their school address. Some states have recently changed their rules to allow college students to work the polls near their school even if they are not registered to vote in that jurisdiction. Please follow the "National Association of State Election Directors" and other links listed below for contact information for your state or local election office.
How do I apply to become a Poll Worker?
Please contact your local election official for information to determine if you qualify to be a Poll Worker and for application information. Please follow the "U.S. Election Assistance Commission Poll Worker Information" and other links listed below for contact information for your state or local election office.
What should I expect if I am a selected as a Poll Worker?
If selected as a Poll Worker you should expect to attend a training session that typically lasts a couple of hours. If you are not going to be working at your own polling place you should expect to request an absentee ballot. Plan to go to sleep early on Monday November 1st because typically you will have to be at the polls on Tuesday, November 2nd, before it opens (sometimes as early as 5:30 a.m.) and stay until after it closes (often after 7:00 p.m.).
How much do Poll Workers earn?
Compensation for Poll Workers is determined by the State or local election office. Rates also vary for the different roles at the polls. Some participants in the College Poll Worker Program receive extra credit in course work in lieu of compensation. Please follow the "Get Voting 411" and other links listed below for contact information for your State or local election office.
I still have questions!
For more information please contact the EAC's College Poll Worker Program Office toll-free at 866-747-1471 or HAVACollegeProgram@eac.gov.