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We Need You to Be a Poll Worker on Election Day!

by Devyn Giannetti , Communications Specialist, Communications Department
Board of Elections building

This year’s presidential election promises to be like no other because of the pandemic. The normal is out the window.

While we are urging all residents to vote by mail and to vote early, we know that many may want to vote in-person.

Here is where you can help. The Board of Elections (BOE) is predicting a significant shortage of poll workers this year.

Some companies and organizations (including the County!) are encouraging their employees to take the day off to work the polls on Election Day. There are so many benefits to becoming a poll worker, and practically anyone can be one. While workers do get paid $250, many do it out of a sense of duty to their community and country.

Poll workers help maintain the process of fair and open elections, making sure your ballot is counted and that your voice is heard. It’s never too late to begin working as an election official and connect with others who are devoting their time to supporting democracy.

You may find yourself assigned to various tasks while working, all of which are equally important. You may be asked to be a greeter, check names against the list of registered voters in the precinct, hand out ballots or be a “floater” to help anyone who needs it. No matter your ability, there is a role for you at the polls!

Here is what you need to know about becoming a poll worker:

How do I sign up to become a poll worker?

  1. Each organization is different, but you will likely need to request time off.
  2. Once you have received approval, sign up online.
  3. When you sign up be sure to select the “Poll Worker” box. If you are an attorney, please check the Attorney Poll Worker box (note: in addition to receiving monetary compensation, attorneys can also get four CLEs).
  4. Once you have signed up, you will receive an email from the BOE with training times/dates/places.

How do I qualify to become an Election Official in Cuyahoga County?

  • You must be a registered voter in Cuyahoga County.
  • You must never have been convicted of a felony.
  • You cannot be a candidate for an office or a position and serve as an election official in any precinct where your name appears on the ballot.

What training do I need to do as a new or past poll worker?

  • If you have worked the polls before, you will attend a virtual 90-minute training.
  • If you are a new poll worker, you will attend a 3.5 hour in-person training session. These sessions are held throughout the county during different days and times for your convenience.

What can I expect on Election Day?

  • You will start Monday evening before Election Day.
  • Poll workers meet at the polling place from 6-8 p.m. to prepare the location.
  • On Election Day, you will arrive at your assigned location at 5:30 a.m. to get the polling place ready. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. There is an additional one hour afterward needed to help close the polling place.

Thank you for your support of democracy by working the polls on Election Day—every individual that helps make residents’ voices heard is a valuable part of the election process!