Information on becoming a Poll Worker

The City of Waukesha encourages all private citizens to vote and to become involved in the election process. One of the most rewarding ways to do this is to become an Election Day poll worker (or “Election Inspector” as the position is formally called). The Chief Election Inspector is in charge of the polling place, and has additional training requirements.

Citizen involvement is essential to conduct open, accurate and fair elections in Wisconsin. We hope that you will consider participation in one of these positions.

What are the responsibilities of a poll worker?

Poll workers (election inspectors) conduct assigned duties at a polling site on Election Day. Duties can include organizing the polling place before the polls open, greeting voters, issuing ballots to registered voters, assigning voters numbers in the poll books, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment, explaining how to mark the ballot or use the voting equipment or counting votes.

What are the hours of work?

Polling places are open statewide from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Poll workers can work a full day, generally from 6:00 a.m. until approximately 9:00 p.m. or later in the case of November elections. Split shifts are also available. Breaks and lunch/dinner hours are allowed and determined by the Chief Election Inspector. For a busier election, you are encouraged to bring necessary meals with you.

Are poll workers (election inspectors) compensated?

Election Inspectors are compensated for working at the polling places and for attending training sessions. The current pay for Election Inspectors/poll workers is $8.50 per hour. Chief Election inspectors have additional responsibilities and are compensated $9.50 per hour. Poll workers may also choose to volunteer their services by filing a written declination of compensation with the municipal clerk.

What are the training requirements for poll workers?

The City of Waukesha Clerk provides training to all poll workers. This training provides all of the necessary information and knowledge to be a successful poll worker. Training sessions last approximately 1 hour. Chief Election Inspectors are required to attend a paid 4 hour training session.

What polling location will I be assigned to work?

In smaller municipalities, there is often only one polling place. However, in larger municipalities there are multiple polling places. In the City of Waukesha, there are 15 polling locations. Every effort is made to assign a poll worker to their neighborhood voting site. However, poll workers must be willing to be flexible and consider assignments at other sites.

What are the requirements to be a poll worker?

To be a poll worker, a person must:

  • Be a qualified elector of the county in which the municipality is located (i.e., an adult citizen of the United States who has resided in the election district for 10 consecutive days and is not otherwise disqualified to vote)
  • Be able to speak, read, and write fluently in the English language
  • Be able to solve problems
  • Be an effective communicator
  • NOT be a candidate for any office to be voted on at the polling place at that election

How are poll workers selected?

According to State Statutes (7.30 (4)) the Mayor, President or Board Chairperson of the municipality is required to nominate poll workers to the governing body no later than the last regular meeting in December of odd-numbered years. The governing body of the municipality appoints the poll workers for a two-year term before December 31.

The nominees are to come first from lists submitted by the two dominant political parties, which are due no later than November 30 of odd numbered years, and may be supplemented at any time. Local party chairpersons are responsible for submitting theses lists of names to the Mayor, President or Board Chairperson of the municipality, for each polling place.

If a local party does not submit a list, or does not submit enough names, the Mayor, President or Board Chairperson may nominate qualified individuals on a non-partisan basis, without regard to party affiliation.

Can I be excused from my regular job to be a poll worker?

Wisconsin law requires every employer to grant an unpaid leave of absence to each employee who is appointed to serve as an election official, if the employee who serves as an election official provides his or her employer with at least 7 days notice. The leave is for the entire 24-hour period of each election day in which the employee serves in his or her official capacity as an election official. Upon request of any employer municipal clerks must verify appointments.

More Information

For additional information on becoming an Election Inspector, please email Sandee Policello, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer or call 262-524-3853.