Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the requirements to become a poll worker?
- You must be a registered or pre-registered voter in Pinellas County.
- All poll workers must be able to read and write English.
- You must attend the required poll worker training class or classes (based on poll worker position).
What are the poll worker positions?
- Clerk - Oversees all operations at the polling place, with added responsibilities prior to Election Day, such as contacting all the workers, picking up supplies and setting up the voting equipment for the polling place. The Clerk communicates with the Election Call Center to verify voter eligibility; updates voter addresses; administers provisional ballots; assists in closing down the polling place; and is responsible for transmitting ballot totals after the polls close.
- Assistant Clerk - Assists the clerk in setting up the voting equipment; serves as a backup for all poll worker positions; communicates with the Elections Call Center to verify voter eligibility; makes sure that required forms are properly completed; assists in closing down the polling place; performs other duties specified by the Clerk.
- Machine Manager - Assists in setting up voting equipment before or on Election Day; handles the technical support requirements of the voting equipment; assists voters; and assists in closing down the polling place; is responsible for transporting the ballots to a designated site after the polls close.
- Ballot Distribution Manager - Responsible for performing opening and closing ballot audits; distributing ballots to voters; and reconciling the number of ballots cast with the number of ballots issued; and assists in closing down the polling place.
- Inspector - Responsible for verifying voter eligibility; “check-in” voters using Electronic Voter Identification Device (EVID); provides voter with documentation so voter may obtain a ballot; and assists in closing down the polling place.
- Precinct Deputy - Maintains order at the polling place; ensures the polling place is ADA compliant; designates the “no political activity” area outside the polling place; distributes voting supplies on Election Day; and assists in closing down the polling place.
Do I get paid for being a poll worker?
Yes, after being selected to work in an election, poll workers are paid $10 per class for their training. Pay varies from $140 to $265, depending on the assigned position.
Can I be a poll worker if I am under the Florida Retirement System (FRS)?
If you retired from an FRS employer less than one year ago, working as a poll worker may jeopardize your FRS pension. Contact the FRS Bureau of Enrollment and Contributions at (850) 488-8837 to verify how working as a poll worker will affect your FRS benefits.
What are the work hours on Election Day?
All poll workers must be at their assigned polling place by 5:30 a.m., or earlier, on Election Day. Florida State Law requires polls to be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The day ends for poll workers when all votes have been accounted for and all materials have been packed away, usually around 8:00 p.m.
Poll workers are not permitted to leave their assigned polling places on Election Day. Poll workers must arrive with all the materials they will need for the entire day, such as food, drink, and medicine. Election Day is a long day; however, breaks and a lunch period are scheduled by the Clerk.
How do I vote if I do not work in my home precinct?
Poll workers working outside of their home precinct will need to vote early or by mail prior to Election Day. For more information, call (727) 464-VOTE (8683). Mail ballots must be returned to one of our three Elections Offices by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.
What else should I know about serving as a poll worker?
- Poll workers are not guaranteed to work every election and may not necessarily work in their home precincts or with friends and family. Poll workers serve at the will of the Supervisor of Elections. Poll workers must be able to work as a team and must be courteous and helpful to voters.
- Poll worker assignments are based on experience, political party balance, and your availability to work. It is also important to know that the more conditions you place on your availability to work may reduce your placement options.
- If your preference is to work with a specific person, include the person’s name on your online application in the comments section. We will make every reasonable attempt to place you in a polling location where you can work together.
- Some organizations donate their poll worker pay to charity. Please indicate the organization’s name on your online application in the comments section. See Partners at the Polls.
- Poll workers must have their own transportation to class and to their assigned polling places on Election Day. Since Clerks and Machine Managers will be transporting materials and ballots after closing, they must have their own transportation on Election Day.
- Poll workers are not permitted to eat, drink, smoke, read the newspaper or use electronic devices while performing their duties as poll workers. These activities may be done on scheduled breaks outside the view of voters. Smoking is not allowed inside the polling place. Smoking breaks must be approved and scheduled with the precinct clerk.
- Poll workers are representatives of the Supervisor of Elections Office, which is a NONPARTISAN Office. It is strictly prohibited to provide information, advice or comments about candidates or issues while serving as a poll worker. Poll workers are not allowed to wear campaign buttons, T-shirts or any other item that may be considered political.
- Poll worker checks are mailed 3 to 4 weeks after each election.
- The Poll Worker Department needs your current contact information. Please remember to notify us of any changes to your name, address, phone number, or email address.