United States Election Assistance Comittee

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Military and Overseas Voters

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Election Worker Best Practices

Recruiting election workers for the 21st century requires new approaches that take advantage of innovative tools as well as making use of time-tested methods in order to reach all segments of our diverse population.

More is required than just adequate staffing at the polling place. Today's election work force participates not only in Election Day precincts, but vote centers, early voting, absentee and early tallying boards, recount boards, and post-election audits. Below you will find information on EAC's National Competition, EAC Resources and examples from State and Local jurisdictions for training and retaining election workers.

National Competition Winners Announced

Today the EAC announced five winners of its best practices competition for recruiting, training, and retaining election workers. (see press release) These programs were selected by a panel of election officials based on criteria including;

  • Innovation and/or uniqueness;
  • Sustainability and effectiveness;
  • Offers a "big bang for the buck"; and
  • Readily duplicated or increased in scale 
  • The winners are: 

    Image Brevard County Florida Supervisor of Elections Logo

    Brevard County, Florida - Practice makes Perfect Lab

    The Practice Makes Perfect Lab was first implemented during the 2012 primary election. Since 2012, over 1,700 Poll Workers have voluntarily invested their personal time to participate in the Lab review sessions. The Practice Makes Perfect Lab provides the opportunity for election workers to review procedures and receive hands on training in a self-paced learning environment. The Lab does not take the place of mandatory training, but serves to reinforce key Election Day practices.

    The Lab allows election workers to practice set up and closing procedures on voting equipment and test their knowledge of common issues they might encounter on Election Day. 

    Image of Franklin County Board of Elections Logo

    Franklin County, Ohio - Champions of Democracy

    Franklin County's "Champions of Democracy" program is a campaign to recruit employees from local businesses to serve as poll workers. During this campaign the board of elections; 

    • Dedicates a day to visit the local business to promote the program and recruit poll workers;

    • Provides all eligible employees an opportunity to register to vote; and

    • Brings voting machines to run a mock election.

    Additionally the county recognized the importance of providing poll workers with the opportunity for a final review of election procedures and materials just prior to them serving on Election Day. As a result they developed "Practice Makes Perfect," an open house review staffed by poll worker trainers, which is held on the weekend (Friday evening through Sunday) preceding every election.

    Image Hamiliton County Ohio Board of Elections Logo

    Hamilton County, Ohio - Recruiting, Training, and Retaining Precinct Election Officials

    The county uses a Youth at the Booth (YATB) program to recruit high school students to work the polls. YATB participants played an important role in the successful transition to recently deployed electronic poll books, as they often have a greater familiarity and understanding of technology. By pairing technological savvy high school students with longer serving precinct election officials, who have a better understanding of election processes, the county can provide the perfect combination of technological comfort and experience at the polls.

    Additionally the county instituted a new program to engage the business community and government agencies in the election process called "Partners in Democracy." Participating businesses and agencies are encouraged to give their employees a "day off for democracy" to allow them to serve as election workers.

    This fall the county is also implementing an own online training course for precinct election officials who feel the need for additional training.

    To help retain precinct election officials , the county administers a post-election survey of these officials seeking input on ways the election process could be better run. Some of the best ideas to improve processes have come through these surveys.

    Montgomery County MD Final

    Montgomery County, Maryland - Precinct Performance Report

    Montgomery County, Maryland has created a formalized review procedure called the Precinct Performance Report, which evaluates and develops election judge performance and ultimately improves the voters' experience at the polls. This assessment provides critical data documenting and visualizing which precincts need attention and those areas where multiple precincts are underperforming, and to improve the county's training program.

    The report (see sample) charts each precinct's success or failure at meeting established performance standards and goals. Since the data is precinct-specific, it clearly distinguishes between issues that face all or most precincts and those issues that are specific to one or a few precincts.

    The report is based on reports and logs related to the voting equipment, provisional voting, and other paperwork that must be completed on Election Day. Using these data a detailed assessment on each precinct is created and each precinct receives a ranking.  

    Image New Hanover County North Carolina Board of Elections Logo

    New Hanover County, North Carolina - Election Official Resource Portal

    New Hanover County, North Carolina recently developed the "Election Official Resource Portal" (EORP) to provide centralized access to election-related documents, training, and other information. The portal is updated weekly and is designed to thoroughly prepare poll workers for their specific duties. Information provided includes:

    • Election Day and early voting assignments

    • Training videos

    • Election official handbooks

    • Position-specific information

    The updated portal, which is currently called the Precinct Official Management Portal, will be released soon.

    Additionally to help retain the best poll workers, the county gives out awards for service longevity as well as hosts post-election meetings and focus groups with poll workers. Summary of their retention programs found here.



    National Competition is Now Closed. Thank you for entering!

    2016 National Competition for Best Practices

    National Competition for Election Worker Best Practices

    Election Worker Successful Practices 2016


    EAC Resources

    U.S. Election Assistance Commission

    State By State Compendium 2016

    2016 Public Meeting Election Workers

    6 Tips To Employ Effective Poll Workers


    State and Local Resources

    California Contra Costa County Elections Division

    Poll Worker Recruitment Video:


    City and County of San Francisco Department of Elections


    Poll Workers San Francisco1


    Florida Pasco County Supervisor of Elections

    Poll Worker Training Video: 


    Kansas Johnson County Election Office

    Election Worker Training Video: 

    The perfect election image


    Missouri Saint Louis County Board of Elections

    Best Practice - Tax Bill Insert: 

    St Louis MO Tax Bill Insert


    New Jersey Sussex County Board of Elections 

    Poll Worker Training Videos:

    Morning Activities and Opening the IVOs

    Setting up the Poll Room and Roster Table

    Loading, Casting and Cancelling Ballots

    Processing a Voter                               

    Form 100 Name and Address Changes

    Primary Elections                               

    The Orange Provisional Ballot Bag

    The Disabled Voter                             

    Recording the VAL on  the Pink Sheet



    Ohio Secretary of State

    Poll Worker Recruitment Video: