Skip to Content

Student Poll Worker Program

A picture looking down at a large table with a blue tablecloth over it that says "Be a Poll Worker!" in large letters on the side. On top of the table there are four piles of different kinds of fliers, a bowl of mints, "I Voted" stickers, and old election pins.

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


The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters office operates a successful Student Poll Worker Program. California State law allows eligible students to be appointed to serve as poll workers in a Vote Center on Election Day and/or Early Voting Days.

High school teachers and counselors are encouraged to talk with their students about this unique "behind-the-scenes" view of elections.

Students gain invaluable experience as Election Officials. They receive "hands-on" experience and training in elections administration, and gain an appreciation for the importance of public service and the significance of the democratic process.

Students will receive a stipend of $160 on Early Voting Days and $250 on Election Day.

Who Can Qualify to Be a Poll Worker?

To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 16 years old on or before the first day of service
  • Be a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident on or before the first day of service
  • Be a student in good standing, attending a public or private secondary educational institution
  • Possess a GPA of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

Note: Students are not required to be registered to vote in order to be part of this program.

Student Poll Worker Commitment

Students who participate in the program must complete the following assignments:

  • Watch online training videos prior to the first day of service
  • Become a member of the Poll Worker Board and participate in the operation of a Vote Center
  • Perform duties assigned by the Inspector (the "lead" poll worker). This includes, but is not limited to, the following: locate voter names on roster laptops; obtain voter signatures; provide simple instruction to voters; issue, receive, and deposit ballot card(s); help set up and clean up the Vote Center.

Note: Hours are approximately 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Early Voting Days and approximately 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Election Day.

How to Apply to Be a Student Poll Worker

If you would like to participate in the Student Poll Worker Program, complete the following steps: