Become a Poll Worker

Poll workers are critical to our democracy.  Every election, poll workers help administer polling sites to ensure every voter can cast their ballot. In the last presidential elections, over fifty percent of poll workers were over the age of 60. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, polling sites are at risk of being understaffed. 

Help save our democracy by stepping up to serve as a poll worker in your local polling site and be compensated for your time and effort. 

In Massachusetts, the Harvard Votes Challenge is collaborating with the Safe Elections Network to launch the Student Poll Worker Corps., an initiative to recruit, train and connect Harvard community members to local election offices in need of poll workers.    

For Harvard community members residing outside Massachusetts, the Harvard Votes Challenge is partnering with Power to Polls, an initiative to recruit and provide information on how to enlist as a poll worker through your local election office. 

Work elections in Massachusetts 

1.    Fill out the form here.

2.    Our partners at the Safe Election Networks will respond via email with further information, training videos and required quiz. Once you complete those, they will connect you to a local election office that is in need of volunteers.  If you indicated you would like to be on "reserve" they will follow up with you to discuss expectations.  

3.    Follow up with the local election office to fill out an application, confirm your participation and inquire about additional trainings required. 

4.    On the day of the election make sure you bring appropriate PPE (if the site does not provide it) and thank you for your service!  

For questions, reach out to Kristina Mensik or Melissa D’Anello.   

Work elections across the US

Massachusetts residents should use the above directions. 

1.    Fill out the form here.

2.    Based on your address, you will be directed to your local election office. Submit the application. Our partners at Power to the Polls will follow up by email or text to remind you to submit your application. 

3.    Follow up with your local election office to confirm your participation and inquire about additional trainings required. 

4.    On the day of the election make sure you bring appropriate PPE (if the site does not provide it) and thank you for your service!    

For questions, contact your local election office, visit Work Elections.  

Frequently asked questions    

1. Is there compensation for poll work?  

Most states pay for election work.  Visit Work Elections to learn about your specific state.   

2. Is it safe to be a poll worker during COVID-19? 

There are inherent health risks in election work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Each person should consider this when deciding whether to be a poll worker.  It is also important that the poll worker understand the polling location safety protocols and wear appropriate PPE. We encourage poll workers to self-quarantine for two weeks before Election Day and get a coronavirus test to ensure that they do not expose voters and fellow poll workers to COVID-19.  

For some polling locations, PPE will be provided to poll workers, while others may not. Make sure you understand how to keep yourself safe during election work. 

3. Is there training required? 

 Most states and local election offices require a training to learn about specific protocols in managing the polling location.  The length of the training varies by state and local election office.  Visit Work Elections to learn about specific trainings. 

4. Are there specific poll worker requirements? 

 Some states have minimum age, citizenship, and voter registration requirements. Visit Work Elections for more information.