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Poll Worker Information

Note: Voting in Sonoma County Has Changed

In 2022, Sonoma County began conducting elections under a new election model called the Voter's Choice Act. This model utilizes "Vote Centers" intead of traditional polling places.

What's the difference? First, voters are not assigned to one specific location; they can vote at any Vote Center in the county they choose and still obtain the correct ballot. Second, Vote Centers are usually (but not always) open multiple days, not just on Election Day itself.

Poll workers should be comfortable using computers because many of the tasks at Vote Centers rely on them.

Page Contents

Overview

Being a poll worker is a great way to serve your community, take an active role in democracy, and become part of a dedicated team working to make the election process easy and accessible to everyone.

There are two types of poll workers: Inspectors and Clerks (see below). Each Vote Center has 1-2 Inspectors and 3-8 Clerks.

Inspectors are provided a stipend of:

  • $240 on Early Voting Days
  • $360 on Election Day

Clerks are provided a stipend of:

  • $160 on Early Voting Days
  • $250 on Election Day

Bilingual poll workers receive an additional stipend of $25 on Early Voting Days and $40 on Election Day if they speak English and one of the following languages:

  • Khmer
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese

Apply to Be a Poll Worker!

Click Here to Apply to Be a Poll Worker

For more information, please contact the Registrar of Voters Office at rov-polls@sonoma-county.org

Who Can Be a Poll Worker?

To be a poll worker, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be either:
  • Be available to serve during the following hours:
    • Early Voting Days: approximately 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • Election Day: approximately 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 
  • Be able to follow written and verbal instructions
  • Be able to complete Inspector and Clerk job duties (see below)

Inspectors

Inspectors are "lead" poll workers at a Vote Center. They are responsible for learning and completing election procedures and for obtaining all supplies and ballots. Due to the tasks assigned, Inspectors must have reliable transportation with adequate space to accommodate election supplies and equipment (Inspectors are reimbursed for mileage). Inspector duties include the following:

  • Watching online training videos
  • Attending an in-person training class (approximately two hours) to receive hands-on training and pick up election supplies
  • Checking supplies and confirming receipt of all materials needed to conduct the election
  • Contacting all poll workers assigned to the same Vote Center and confirming their participation on Early Voting Days and/or Election Day
  • Contacting the Vote Center to ensure access to the facility on Early Voting Days and/or Election Day
  • Assigning tasks to Clerks, including all duties required in setting up and closing the Vote Center, negotiating and scheduling meal breaks, etc.
  • Transporting all supplies and ballots to the "Return Center" on Early Voting Nights and/or Election Night
  • Performing more complex tasks such as issuing provisional ballots or utilizing the Accessible Voting Devices

Clerks

Clerks are the "line workers" at a Vote Center. Clerks are assigned duties that help voters receive and cast their ballots. Clerk duties include the following:

  • Completing assignments as directed by the Inspector. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Locating voter names on roster laptops
    • Obtaining voter signatures
    • Providing simple instruction to voters
    • Issuing, receiving, and depositing ballots
    • Setting up, cleaning, and closing the Vote Center
  • Reviewing Early Voting Day and/or Election Day procedures
  • Assisting Inspectors in "covering" tasks during meal breaks
  • Accompanying the Inspector to the Return Center to transport all supplies and ballots on Early Voting Nights and/or Election Night (if requested; only one Clerk is required)
  • Acting in the Inspector's absence, as needed

Special Poll Worker Programs