Contact Information For California Counties

December 2012

Thank you for your interest in becoming a poll worker!

Although, the big election has passed, it is not too late to become a poll worker. You can plan to be a poll worker in a local election which might happen sometime in 2013; many counties will have local elections in November 2013.

Each county is responsible for the staffing of its polling places. There are approximately 25,000 precincts throughout the State, and a minimum of 100,000 poll workers are needed for a state-wide election. Over the years there have been critical shortages of poll workers for certain elections. Please consider poll-working to help out the counties and do your part to ensure well-conducted elections. Contact the county (click on tabs above for contact info) where you live or one nearby to sign up. It is especially helpful if you are willing to take on some responsibility and volunteer as an inspector (the worker in charge) on Election Day. The counties need sharp and energetic people to fill inspector positions and help ensure smooth running polling places.

Working at the polls is a great way to serve your community and to learn about the election process!  Here are the qualifications needed to become a poll worker:

- Be a registered voter anywhere in the State of California (click here for information on registering to vote or jump straight to the new online registration form)

- Be at least 18 years of age (or a high school student over 16 with a GPA of 2.5 or above)

- Be able to work on election day from at 6 am to 9 pm; if you really can't do this, some counties offer half day shifts

- You may be asked to attend a paid training; training is mandatory for inspectors

State Employees can take time off from their jobs without loss of pay to work as poll workers! Please click here for details and for the State Agencies in your county. Many counties also have County Employee poll worker programs in place that allow their county workers to work at the polls without loosing pay. Please contact your county elections official for details (click on the tabs above)

Working at the polls is a non-partisan activity.  The counties train their poll workers in the weeks preceding each election.  Many counties are looking for poll workers that are bilingual, not just in Spanish, but also in languages like Russian, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tagalog.  County election offices may also hire translators for Election Day who do not also work as poll workers. California needs poll workers who are comfortable with computer technology because most polling places will have at least one electronic voting device. 

Please consider helping out! You can sign up with a colleague, friend or neighbor and ask to be placed in the same polling place.  You can also recruit a group of people and run an entire polling place!  You will get paid (anywhere from $70 to $175 depending on the position and the county), you'll feel great about making a contribution to our democratic process, and you'll have lots of stories to tell afterwards.  We are poll workers ourselves and we can tell you from experience that it’s fun and interesting to meet the people who go to the polls and to assist them in having a positive voting experience.

To sign up, click on the above tabs to find links or a phone number to the county in which you will be residing on election day.

Thanks and see you on Election Day!

Karin Mac Donald and Bonnie Glaser
Election Administration Research Center

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