How Poll Workers Make Elections Happen

Poll Worker Overview

Below is an overview of Poll Worker shift hours, precinct board team positions and Election Day assignments, County employee positions, training, and compensation. Online applications can be submitted at Feel free to contact the Office of Elections with questions or to check on the status of your Poll Worker Application (707-445-7481).

Shift Hours       

Election Eve setup, Election Day from 6 am - 10 pm, and trainings.
Clerks: Election Eve setup, Election Day from 6 am - 10 pm, and trainings.
Half-Clerks:Election Eve setup, Election Day from 6 am - 10 pm, and trainings.
Rovers:Election Day from 5:30 am - 12 (midnight) and trainings.
Election Night Workers:Election Day from 7 pm - 12 (midnight).

Precinct Board Teams

Precinct board teams are comprised of 3-6 poll workers: one (1) Inspector and two to five (2-5) Clerks.

Inspector (Team Leader)
    • Precinct board team leader.
    • Present on Election Day from 6 am - 10 pm.
    • Coordinates with the Office of Elections, polling place facility, and partner Inspector(s).
    • Recruits and coordinates with team members. 
    • Guides precinct board team Election Day assignments. 
    • Training is required.
Clerk (Team Member)
    • Precinct board team member.
    • Assists team with Election Eve and Election Morning setup.
    • Present on Election Day from 6 am - 10 pm.
    • Performs assignments given by the Inspector on Election Day.
    • Training is strongly encouraged.

NOTE: Half-Clerks perform Clerk duties and work a half shift of either 6 am - 2 pm or 2 pm - 10 pm.

Precinct board team members must be present on Election Day for the duration of their shift. The team’s Inspector will notify each Clerk when Election Eve setup will occur. All team members are required to participate in Election Eve setup. 

Precinct Board Team Election Day Assignments

Roster Clerk (Check-in)
  • Locates voter name and address on the main roster or on the PollPad.
  • Assists voter in signing the main roster or provisional roster.
Ballot Handling Clerk
  • Receives voter from Roster Clerk.
  • Issues an official ballot, security sleeve, and pen to voter. 
  • Instructs voter on how to mark the official ballot and use the security sleeve. 
Index Clerk (Hanging Roster)
  • Updates voter index (hanging roster) with voter information. 
  • Hangs voter index (hanging roster) outside the polling place. 
Ballot Box Clerk
  • Hands ballot stub to voter. 
  • Assists voter using accessible voting machine. 
  • Assists voter in depositing official ballot into ballot scanning machine or ballot box.

County Employees

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors encourages county employees to work as Poll Workers. In addition to working as a precinct board team member, employees of the County of Humboldt are eligible to work as Rovers and Election Night Workers.

  • Traveling troubleshooter. 
  • Shift: 5:30 am - 12 (midnight). 
  • Verifies ADA mitigation equipment is setup correctly at polling places. 
  • Delivers needed supplies to polling places. 
  • Receives an hourly rate stipend. Stipend can be waived or claimed as regular shift.
  • Training is required. 
  • Must have a valid California Driver's License and automobile insurance.

Election Night Worker
  • Assists the Office of Elections after the polls close. 
  • Shift: 7 pm - 12 (midnight). 
  • Receives and processes materials delivered by polling places. 
  • Receives Clerk stipend. Stipend can be waived or claimed as part of regular shift. 
  • No training is required. 


Prior to each election, the Office of Elections will hold School of Instruction trainings throughout Humboldt County as well as provide a hands-on Machine Lab at the Office of Elections. Inspectors are required to attend the School of Instruction and strongly encouraged to attend the Inspector Roundtable and Machine Lab. Clerks and Half-Clerks are strongly encouraged to attend the School of Instruction and Machine Lab. Rovers are required to attend the School of Instruction, Rover training, and Machine Lab. Additional optional training for Inspectors is provided. Additional mandatory training for Rovers is held the Saturday prior to an election. 


Poll Works receive a monetary stipend compensation as follows: 

Half-Clerks: $45.50
Hourly Rate
 Election Night Workers: $91

The Office of Elections offers Poll Workers a $20 bonus for attending trainings and strongly encourages all Poll Workers to attend trainings. NOTE: Rovers do not receive a bonus for attending trainings.

Additional Poll Worker Responsibilities
 All board members are expected to be at the polling location by 6 a.m., and remain until all closing procedures have been completed, which may last until 9 or 10 p.m. Breaks are assigned by the Inspector.


It is the Office of Elections' goal for all Poll Workers to be properly trained. Once a Poll Worker's Notice of Appointment is confirmed he or she will receive a training schedule to sign-up for trainings. It is a Poll Worker's responsibility to sign-up for training.  

Food & Drinks

An important (but unofficial) responsibility for precinct board teams is food and water. Poll Workers have a long day. Eating well and staying hydrated is important for staying alert and productive.  

Set Up

Precinct board teams meet at assigned polling places the day before Election Day to set up the booths and signs, and get ready for the next day.

Poll Workers are responsible for providing their own transportation. Poll workers using their own vehicle for election-related activities (e.g. attending training, reporting to assigned polling place, transporting election equipment or ballots) must possess a valid California Driver’s License and valid automobile insurance.