Working as a Poll Worker
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can work as a poll worker?
You are eligible to work as a poll worker if you are at least 18 years old, qualified to vote and a resident of Racine County, and you are NOT a candidate for any office being voted on at the polling location during the election.
What qualifications or skills do you need to have to be a poll worker?
To be a poll worker you must:
- Be able to speak, read and write fluently in the English language
- Have good hearing, can sit for long periods of time, efficient in finding names and numbers in the poll books, good penmanship
- Have strong clerical skills, be able to solve problems and be an effective communicator
- Be able to work in a team
- Enjoy people and service to others
- Be comfortable with new technology
What are the duties of a poll worker?
Your essential duties include helping to open the polls, registering voters, issuing ballots, providing assistance to voters, explaining the use of voting equipment and closing the polling location.
What sort of training do poll workers need to attend?
Approved poll workers will be expected to take a virtual training course conducted by the Office of the City Clerk. This training will provide the necessary information and knowledge to be a successful poll worker. The training will be available between Oct. 19 – 29. Completion of the course depends on a passing grade on the course quiz.
What is the time commitment for a poll worker on election day?
On Election Day, poll workers will start at 6:30 a.m. and work until the end of the day and completion of their duties, typically 10:00 p.m.
Can I be excused from my regular job to be an election official?
Wisconsin law requires every employer to grant an unpaid leave of absence to each employee who is appointed to serve as a poll worker if the employee who serves provides his or her employer with at least seven (7) days of notice. The leave is for the entire 24-hour period of each Election Day in which the employee serves. Upon request of any employer, the Clerk will verify the appointment.
Are poll workers’ earnings taxable?
According to the IRS: Election Workers: Election workers are common-law employees; however, under IRC 3121b)(7)(F)(iv) an exception from FICA is provided for election officials and workers who earn less than a specified amount for a calendar year ($1,400 in 2008). This provision applies to employing entities that do not have a Section 218 Agreement. If the employing entity has a Section 218 Agreement, the Agreement determines the treatment of election worker wages for social security tax. It may exclude election workers altogether from social security; it may specify a lower threshold at which social security tax is withheld; or it may provide no exclusion for election workers, in which case social security and Medicare taxes apply from the first dollar paid.
How will the polls be kept safe from the COVID-19 virus during election day voting?
The City of Racine is training all poll workers in safe social distancing and sanitation practices to protect all voters during the general election. Voters will be required to wear masks and stay at least 6 feet from other voters. Each voting station will be sanitized after voter use and no pens will be reused. Adequate amounts of hand sanitizer will be available at each polling location.