General Information

Who can be an election worker?

To be an election worker, you must be a District 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 the polls so long as you register prior to the election itself. You cannot be a candidate or nominee for any elected office and cannot work for a political party, political committee, or campaign.

What hours will I work?

On the Monday prior to Election Day, you will meet at your assigned polling place to receive the supplies for your precinct and set it up; this usually takes 2 to 3 hours. The exact time will be coordinated by the Precinct Captain and communicated to you approximately one week before the election.

Election workers normally 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 and one hour at the end of the day for sealing ballot boxes, disassembling the voting booths and completing the required forms after the polls close at 8:00 pm.

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.

Where will I work?

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

Do I need training?

You MUST attend a training class prior to each election to keep up-to-date on new equipment and policy changes, as well as to be refreshed on the duties and tasks of the job. Training courses typically start about two months before an election and continue until about a week before Election Day itself. If selected to work, you will be contacted by Board staff or their Precinct Captain to set up a training date prior to the election.

If you are a new election worker, you are given orientation materials and a short overview of how the polls operate at the start of each training session.

How much will I be paid?

You are paid a one-time stipend for each election that covers training, work to set up the day before the election, and work on Election Day itself. In the past, these payments were broken up into different parts, but they are all one payment now that can only be received after you have completed training and worked on Election Day. The stipend is between $120 and $160 depending on the position the election worker occupies. The positions pay differently as some require more training and responsibilities than others. Your position will be chosen by the Board in consultation with your Precinct Captain based upon your previous experience, your skills, and the needs of the precinct.

If required, early voting workers are paid at an hourly rate to be set prior to the election.

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. If you have worked as a poll worker since 2009, it is not necessary to fill out a new application as your information is already in our database.

How do I know if I've been selected?

If you have filled out an application, the Board will contact you and all other active election workers months prior to an election to see if you are available on that specific date. From there, workers are selected and placed in precincts. If there is availability at your local precinct or a nearby precinct, the Board will contact you prior to the election to set you up with a date and time for a training class and to inform you of your assignment of the election.

Thank you for your interest!

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 250 North
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 727-2525 | TTY: (202) 639-8916 | Tollfree: 1-866-DC-VOTES