On every election day, thousands of poll workers across Pennsylvania help ensure that every eligible voter can exercise their right to vote. These civic-minded folks spend election day checking in voters, instructing them on how to use the voting system and enforcing the rules at polling places.
It takes more than 40,000 poll workers to run an election in Pennsylvania. That means that twice a year — on primary day in the spring and general election day in the fall — tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians step up to serve their community and help elections run smoothly.
This year, more than ever, county election offices across the commonwealth are counting on poll workers to step up and fulfill this important civic duty. That's because there are voting changes going into effect and new voting systems being introduced. Counties need people who:
• Show attention to detail
• Practice good customer service
• Feel comfortable learning new technology
• Have experience working with people with disabilities
• Speak a foreign language, such as Spanish.
How to Become a Poll Worker
If you are interested in becoming a poll worker in your community, complete the form at votesPA.com/GetInvolved. You can also contact your county election office directly. Visit votesPA.com/county to find your county's contact information. County officials will determine where and for what position you are most needed.
Poll workers generally work all day on election day, from before the polls open at 7:00 a.m. until after the polls close at 8:00 p.m. In addition, they may be asked to attend a training session before the election. The good news is that poll workers are paid for their time on election day. Some counties also pay poll workers for attending training.
If you are concerned about being able to serve a full day on election day, check with your county. Some Pennsylvania counties allow poll workers to work only part of the day.
Spread the Word
Do you know someone who sounds perfect for this kind of job? Perhaps you would like to involve members of your church, club or civic organization in this important work. You can use Department of State poll worker recruitment materials to help spread the word. They are available for download at votesPA.com/GetInvolved. To find out what else you can do to help recruit poll workers, talk to your county election office.
Rachel Boss serves as Community Impact Manager in the Bureau of Campaign Finance and Civic Engagement where she oversees civic engagement programming. Rachel is also the Language Access Coordinator for the Department of State.