Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) athletics is partnering with the Tennessee Secretary of State to inform the Clarksville and Montgomery County communities of the opportunity to work as a poll official for the upcoming 2020 General Election, November 3rd, 2020.
Elections are not possible without the work of poll officials who help run polling locations across Tennessee. Poll officials are at the center of democracy during early voting and on Election Day while getting paid for their work, most counties need additional poll officials for the General Election on November 3rd.
Working as a poll official is a noteworthy accomplishment to include on any college or career resume.
Poll officials perform various tasks to help polling sites run smoothly, including greeting voters, answering questions, processing voters and explaining how to cast a ballot.
Most Tennessee citizens are eligible to work as a poll official, as the minimum age to work as a poll official is 16 years old. Anyone over 18 years of age must be a registered voter in the county they are serving in.
County or municipal government employees can serve as poll officials if they don’t work directly under the supervision of an elected official who is on the ballot. Federal employees can also serve as poll officials. Any eligible voter can apply to be a poll official, regardless of political affiliation.
Poll officials will be supplied with gowns, face shields, gloves and other PPE. All poll officials will be required to wear a face covering and will be trained in social distancing protocols. Poll officials are compensated for working during early voting and on Election Day, as well as for attending required training sessions.
For more information and to sign up to become a poll official, visit https://pollworkers.govotetn.com/.
Poll Official FAQs
What are the responsibilities of a poll official?
Poll officials conduct assigned duties at a polling site on Election Day. Duties can include processing voters, monitoring the voting equipment, explaining how to [mark a 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.
What are the hours of work?
Normally poll officials report to work one hour before polls open and leave one hour after the poll closes. Check with your county election commission for more information.
Are poll officials paid or volunteers?
Poll officials are compensated for working at polling places at a rate determined by the county election commission and are also compensated for attending any required training sessions. Poll officials may also choose to volunteer their services, but most are paid.
What are the training requirements for poll officials?
County Election Commissions are required by state law to provide training. This training provides all the necessary information and knowledge to be a successful poll official.
Where will I be assigned?
Every effort is made to assign a poll official to their neighborhood voting site. However, poll officials must be willing to be flexible and consider assignments at other sites in the county based on need.
What are the qualifications to be a poll official?
To be a poll official, a person must:
- Be able to read and write in the English language
- Not be a candidate
- Be 16 years or older, however, anyone 18 or older must also be a registered voter in the county
- Not work directly under the supervision of a county or municipal elected official who is on the ballot
- Not be a close relative of a candidate. Close relatives are defined as the spouse, parent, father-in-law, mother-in-law, child, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece of a candidate on the ballot or a write-in candidate
A poll official may also:
- Have strong clerical skills
- Be able to solve problems
- Be an effective communicator
How do I become a poll official?
If you are interested in becoming a poll official, visit GoVoteTN.com to apply. Poll officials are appointed locally based on need.
May state employees become poll officials? Yes
Will poll officials be provided personal protective equipment? Yes