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Poll Official: Frequently Asked Questions
On this page, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about becoming a poll official. If your question is not answered below, please call the Voter Registrations and Elections Office at 678.226.7210.
Is this a volunteer position, and what are the hours of work?
It is a paid volunteer position; poll officials are paid for service. The rates are:
- Poll managers – $290
- Assistant managers – $190
- Issuing clerks – $165
- Non-issuing clerks – $135
The positions include training. Additional pay for training is dependent upon the position. When all training is completed, the final pay is:
- Poll manager – $390
- Assistant manager –$290
- Issuing clerks – $225
- Non-issuing clerks – $150
For descriptions of positions, please see the job postings.
Those who complete training but then do not work for any reason on Election Day will not receive pay for training. If a poll official must leave during Election Day due to an illness or emergency, the pay will be prorated to the number of hours worked.
When do we actually receive pay?
All poll officials receive their pay approximately four weeks after the Election Day.
What type of training is required?
All poll officials are required by law to be trained prior to each election cycle. You are given access to manuals and paperwork during online training, and you will receive a training certificate upon passing the online training test. As this is a requirement by law, you cannot work the polls if you have not completed training. Basic poll official training is offered online and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week during the training period. We schedule several training dates and times for specialized classes for managers to accommodate as many poll officials as possible.
Demonstration labs provide an opportunity to receive additional hands-on training. Labs are conducted after the in-person training class. In the lab, you will experience interactive opportunities, which include additional hands-on training on the ballot marking device and the e-pollbook. In addition, you will have an opportunity to ask questions related to the voting system and procedures covered in class.
We schedule several training dates and times for specialized classes and for management level poll officials to accommodate as many poll officials as possible. As this is a requirement by law, you cannot work the polls if you have not completed training. In-Person training class registrations will be available as the next election nears.
How will I know the training schedule?
Your poll manager will contact you with dates and times. You will work with them, and they will notify Voter Registration and Elections.
Does the county provide lunch or snacks?
No. Due to potential allergen situations, it is recommended that all poll officials bring their own meals, snacks, and drinks for the day. Some polling locations have kitchens available for poll officials limited use, but not all do, so you should be prepared with meals that do not require heating or refrigeration. If a facility allows kitchen use, we ask that you have respect for the location in maintaining cleanliness and do not use utensils as they may belong to employees who work at the facility.
If a poll official has any type of food allergies, they should make the poll manager aware in case of an emergency.
Do I really have to work all day? Why can't we do split shifts?
Yes, you have to work all day. Poll officials must be sworn in at the beginning of each election day, and payroll sheets must be signed prior to the poll opening.
Allowing split shifts eliminates the continuity throughout the day at the stations.
If I'm working the poll, how do I vote? Can I leave to vote if I'm not working at my precinct?
No. Poll officials are required to vote prior to Election Day. You may vote by mail up to 45 days prior to the election, advance in person up to 21 days before the election at the main office of the Gwinnett County Voter Registrations and Elections Office, or at one of the satellite voting locations the week immediately preceding the election. Once you've been sworn in at the polling place, you are not allowed to leave until all Election Day activities have been completed. Visit advance voting or absentee voting for more information, including forms for absentee by mail voting.
If I am a smoker, am I allowed smoke breaks?
Scheduled breaks are determined by the poll manager. Not all facilities allow smoking on the premises.
What will I do as a poll official?
- Help set up the polls
- Assist voters when signing in and possibly voting
- Issue ballots
- Account for ballots and pack supplies after voting has ended
Where will I work on Election Day?
You will be assigned to a polling location based on where there are critical shortages of workers. Election workers are either assigned to a polling location near their home or anywhere throughout the county as needed.