Election workers are essential to ensuring that elections are a success. With each election, millions of Americans dedicate themselves to sustaining the backbone of democracy, our election process.
Buncombe County Election Services is now recruiting poll workers for Early Voting and Election Day. Early Voting begins on the third Thursday prior to Election Day and ends on the last Saturday before the election.
The election process needs you
North Carolina State Board of Election officials encourage teachers, students, and younger North Carolinians to serve their communities and democracy as poll workers in 2020. We need the public’s help to make elections safe and accessible, now more than ever.
Through the Student Assistant Program, students who will be at least 17 years old by Election Day can work as Election Day assistants too. Use the Student Election Assistant Application to apply.
What you need to know
Election Day: Poll workers are assigned to a precinct (often your own precinct or one close to home) and they assist voters with all steps of the election process. To be a poll worker, you must be over 17, a US citizen, registered to vote in Buncombe County, and be able to pass a basic background check. Additionally, some basic computer skills are required, but you will also receive training. All election officials are required by law to be at the precinct no later than 6 a.m. on Election Day, or earlier, as instructed by the Chief Judge. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. Election officials are not permitted to leave the precinct for the duration of the election. After the polls close at 7:30 p.m., all election officials are required to assist with closing down the precinct. No election official may leave the precinct, emergency excepted, until dismissed by the Chief Judge. Chief Judges pick up supplies from 50 Coxe Ave. on the Sunday or Monday preceding the election. Additionally, Chief Judges must return supplies and voting materials to 50 Coxe Ave. at the end of Election Day. Additionally, all election officials are required to meet at the precinct on the Monday preceding the election to assist with the preliminary setting up of the precinct. Time to be set by the Chief Judge. Poll workers should use this opportunity to ascertain whether there is a fridge, microwave, etc. for the food you will bring on Election Day.
- Chief Judge – $260
- Party Judge - $210
- Assistant - $175
Early Voting: During Early Voting each location is staffed with a Captain and a team of workers. Captains make $14/hr and workers make $12/hr. Working during Early Voting requires a minimum commitment of 17 days, including weekends, in shifts plus mandatory training. The Captain carries the most responsibility; duties include voting location access, site setup/take down, task delegation, reconciliation, equipment troubleshooting, and voting process/election law familiarity. All trainings are paid.
Note: Per Session Law 2020-71, any person that is receiving unemployment may work as a poll worker without any effect on their unemployment benefits.
Training starts the week of Sept. 21. To learn more, visit our website at buncombecounty.org/vote or call Election Services at (828) 250-4200.
Election Services’ COVID-19 protocols
Buncombe County is committed to ensuring the highest standards of hygiene are maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic. Significant precautions will be in effect to protect in-person voters and poll workers including:
- Masks available for all poll workers and voters who do not bring their own
- Single-use pens for voters to mark their ballots
- Single-use cotton swabs for voters using touchscreen voting machines
- Enforced social distancing for all poll workers and voters, including markings or barriers to prevent voters in line from standing too close together
- Hand sanitizer for voters and poll workers
- Face shields and gloves for poll workers
- Protective barriers between poll workers and voters at check-in tables
- Special sanitation kits at each precinct to ensure poll worker protection and clean tables, voting booths, and voting machines throughout the voting process
- Thorough cleaning of voting sites before and after the election
- Training sessions arranged to ensure social distancing
- Appropriate hygiene measures taken to clean the training room and materials