How to become a poll worker

Precinct Election Officials (also know as P.E.O.s or poll workers) are hired by the county boards of elections for their own counties. The county boards of elections determine the hours the poll worker will work and the compensation they receive.

Am I qualified to become a poll worker?

  • You must be at least 17 years of age and registered to vote
  • You must be a registered voter in the county in which you plan to work as a poll worker.
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony
  • You cannot be running as a candidate for the election in which you are working

Click here for more about poll worker qualifications.

What is required of a poll worker?

A Precinct Election Official is a paid position through the county Board of Elections. You are paid approximately $160 for your time for performing the following 3 tasks:

  1. Take the 3 hour county BOE training
  2. Attend the pre-election meeting to set up the polling location the night before the election.
  3. Work your assigned polling location on election day, generally 5:30AM to 8:30PM,with a 1 hour lunch break.

The process of becoming a poll worker is simple. Just follow these steps:

1. Complete the poll worker application.

First time poll workers must apply either through the Secretary of State’s office (SOS) or through your county Board of Elections. Click here to sign up online through the SOS Office. You can also go to your county BOE’s web site for their application.

2. Sign up for and take your county’s BOE 3 hour training class

All poll workers, new and returning, are required to take the board’s mandatory 3 hour training. Your county BOE will contact you to schedule your training about one month prior to the election.

3. Take the SOS online training (not mandatory)

You will receive an email with a link and access code for additional online training offered by the SOS. This is a great refresher course. Click here to access this training through the SOS web site.

4. Attend the pre-election meeting at your polling location

The presiding judge (head poll worker) will contact all of the workers assigned to his/her precinct and let them know what time to meet for the pre-election/set up meeting. This meeting is the night before the election and usually lasts about 1 hour.

Ohio VIP opportunities (non-mandatory)

Ohio VIP offers training on request that not only reinforces what you learn from the BOE but also covers areas that are more difficult to understand and exceptions found in the polling location. Our training gives our poll workers complete knowledge and understanding of election rules which instills self-confidence in our workers. This self confidence is extremely important when dealing with unusual situations and voting exceptions with either co-workers or voters.

Areas of concentration in Ohio VIP training classes:

  • Poll worker responsibilities
  • Ohio voter ID requirements
  • Differences between Regular and Provisional voters and procedures for each
  • Management of the precinct
  • Common exceptions
  • FAQs