Poll Workers May Be Needed Throughout The County
“Your municipal clerk may need to call on residents of Barron County willing to serve as poll workers for the April 7 election to replace poll workers who are unable to serve due to age or health concerns from the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic,” said DeeAnn Cook, Barron County Clerk.
Some municipalities have a shortage of poll workers, known as election inspectors, who serve at polling places. A significant number of them are in their 60s and 70s, and many may have other health conditions.
“We may need people from several municipalities to step up and help out,” said Cook.
In Wisconsin, election inspectors are appointed at the municipal level. Anyone, including students, who is interested in working should contact the municipal or county clerk’s office immediately.
Wisconsin law also allows people to serve as election inspectors in other municipalities within their county. If you are willing to serve in a municipality outside of your own, let your clerk know and they can alert the county about your availability. You can also contact the county directly and can find contact information for county clerks here: https://elections.wi.gov/clerks/directory.
Municipal clerks will provide training for any new election inspectors before the election.
Voter turnout at the polling place is expected to be much lower than normal, but workers are still needed to process a much higher number of absentee ballots than normal.
What are the responsibilities of a poll worker?
Poll workers conduct assigned duties at a polling site on Election Day. Duties can include issuing ballots to registered voters, registering voters, monitoring the voting equipment, explaining how to mark the ballot or use the voting equipment, or counting votes.
Other positions at a polling place include a greeter who assists with answering questions and directing voters to the voting area, an election registration official to a polling place to register voters, and tabulators to assist at the polling place after it closes.
What are the hours of work?
Polling places are open statewide from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Poll workers can work a full day, generally from 6:30 a.m. until approximately 9:00 p.m. or later. In many municipalities, election inspectors can work a split shift.
Are poll workers (election inspectors) paid or volunteers?
Poll workers are compensated for working at polling places at a rate determined by the appropriate municipal governing body, and, in some municipalities, are also compensated for attending any required training sessions. Poll workers may also choose to volunteer their services by filing a written declination of compensation with the municipal clerk
What are the training requirements for poll workers?
Municipal clerks are required by state law to provide training. This training provides all of the necessary information and knowledge to be a successful poll worker. (Many municipalities require poll workers to attend a comprehensive training course prior to each Primary election.)
An experienced chief inspector who has been certified by the Wisconsin Elections Commission must be present at each polling place for each election. Chief inspectors must receive six hours of continuing election education training during each two-year period.
What length of commitment will be expected?
Poll workers are usually appointed to two-year terms and are generally asked to make a minimum two-year commitment. However, given the current circumstances volunteers for only the April 7 election are appreciated and should not be expected to meet the full two-year commitment.
Where will I be assigned?
In Barron County, there is only one polling place per municipality. However, poll workers may need to be flexible and consider assignments at other polling places if there is a greater need to volunteers outside of your municipality.
What are the qualifications to be a poll worker (election inspector)?
To be a poll worker, a person must:
• Be a qualified elector of the county in which the municipality is located (i.e., an adult citizen of the United States who has resided in the election district for 10 consecutive days and is not otherwise disqualified to vote)