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Working At The Polls On Election Day

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The strength of a democracy depends upon the level of involvement of its citizens.

Get involved!

The County of Clarke needs approximately 40 citizens to serve as election officials in its 8 precincts for each General Election; around 60 officials during the Presidential Election. It is a rewarding way to participate in your government and help us to ensure a fair and well-organized voting process.

Am I qualified?

  • You must be a registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • You cannot hold elected office or be the employee or a deputy of an elected official.
  • You must be able to take direction, pay attention to detail and not be easily distracted.
  • You must be available to work the entire day on Election Day: Arrive at the polling place at 5:00 AM on election day and remain until all the tallies have been completed after the polls close, normally around 8:30 PM.
  • You must be available to attend training.

What will I be doing?

Precinct Officers:

  • Set up voting equipment and prepare the polling place for voting.
  • Process voters by checking for their name on the list of registered voters, documenting necessary information and verifying identification.
  • Provide instructions and/or demonstrations for the use of the voting machines.
  • Admit voters to voting machines.
  • Complete election reports, secure voting machines and close the polling place.

Central Absentee Precinct (CAP) Officers:

  • Process mailed-in absentee ballots.
  • Check names of voters on lists of absentee applicants.
  • Record names of voters in pollbooks.
  • Record and process the votes cast on the voting machine used for in-person absentee voting.

Stand-by (Alternate) Officers:

  • May be called prior to Election Day to fill in for officers who cannot serve.

Will I receive training?

Each Election Official is required to attend training prior to each election. Workshops, lasting about 2 hours, are normally held the week prior to the election. Additional training is provided prior to special and primary elections.

Where will I be working?

Whenever possible, Election Officials are assigned to their "home" precinct or asked to work in the Central Absentee Precinct (CAP). Unassigned officers are asked to serve as "Alternates" to fill in for scheduled officers who cannot work.

When am I needed?

Usually every year for a November election.  Also for primary and town elections.

Do I get paid for working the polls?

Yes: Election officials are compensated $105 for attending training and working on election day. (Central Absentee Precinct officers receive $85) (As of July 2008)

Precinct Chiefs receive supplemental compensation for their added responsibilities.

Yes - I would like to be an Officer of Election! email us at, call us at (540) 955-5168 or complete the on-line "Officer of Election Interest Form" through the State Board of Elections.

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