Become an Election Inspector (poll worker)
The City of West Allis encourages all citizens to vote and to become involved in the election process. One of the most rewarding ways to contribute is to serve your community as an Election Inspector, or Poll Worker.
Citizen involvement is essential in conducting open, accurate and fair elections. We hope that you will consider participating in the election process by signing up to be an election inspector. Generally, the City staffs the polling places with 125 election inspectors. For Presidential and other large elections, additional election inspectors are needed. To help you make an informed decision before applying for the position, please review the following information.
Responsibilities of an Election Inspector
Election Inspectors conduct assigned duties at a polling site on Election Day.
General duties include:
- Organizing the polling place before the polls open
- Election day voter registration
- Checking in voters on the poll book
- Reviewing the voter’s photo ID, and assigning each voter in the poll book a sequential election day voter number
- Issuing ballots
- Assisting voters and providing instruction as necessary
- Processing absentee ballots
- Monitoring the voting equipment
- Signing and assisting with paperwork for the City and County
Hours of Work
Polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Election Inspectors work a full day, generally from 6:30 a.m. until approximately 9:00 p.m. or later in the case of November elections. Breaks and lunch/dinner hours are allowed and determined by the Chief Election Inspector. For a busier election, you are encouraged to bring necessary meals with you.
Election inspectors are compensated for working at the polling place and for attending training sessions. The current pay for Election Inspectors is $110.00 per Election Day. You may also choose to work as a volunteer.
- The City Clerk provides training opportunities throughout the year. Trainings vary in type, from basic election inspector training to Badger Book (e-pollbook) training, and time, from one to six hours.
- Pre-election briefing meetings are held prior to every Primary and Election, generally the Thursday before the elections. These sessions last between one hour and two hours.
- A chief election inspector who has been certified by the State of Wisconsin Elections Commission must be present at each polling place for every election. Chief Election Inspectors and Alternate Chief Election Inspectors must receive a minimum of six hours of continuing election education training during each two-year term. There is additional pay for those serving in these positions.
Length of Commitment
Election Inspectors are appointed to two-year terms. However, committing to an election or being available to fill in at the last moment is also appreciated.
Location of Work
Every effort is made to assign an election inspector to his or her neighborhood polling place. However, there are times when the City Clerk requests election inspectors to be willing and flexible in order to cover vacancies at other sites.
To be an election inspector, a person must:
- Be a qualified elector of a county in which the municipality where the official serves is located;
- Be able to speak, read, and write fluently in the English language;
- Have strong clerical skills;
- Work as a team;
- Enjoy people and service to others;
- Be able to solve problems;
- Be an effective communicator; and
- NOT be a candidate for any office to be voted on at the polling place at that election.
High School Election Inspectors
High School students are encouraged to work as election inspectors. A student who is 16 or 17 years of age and who is enrolled in grades 9-12 in a public or private high school and has at least a 3.0 GPA may serve as an election inspector with the approval of the student’s parent or guardian. The municipal clerk must receive written authorization from the student’s parent or guardian for the student to serve for the election for which he or she is appointed.
The school board (or governing body of a private school) may establish criteria for service by a student that does not have a 3.0 GPA. If a pupil does not have at least a 3.0 GPA or equivalent, the municipal clerk shall obtain written certification from the principal of the student’s school that the student meets any criteria established by the school board (or governing body of a private school) for service as an inspector.
Election Day Leave
Wisconsin law requires every employer to grant an unpaid leave of absence to each employee who is appointed to serve as an election official, if the employee who serves as an election official provides his or her employer with at least 7 days notice. The leave is for the entire 24-hour period of each Election Day in which the employee serves in his or her official capacity as an election official. Upon request of any employer, municipal clerks must verify appointments.
Election inspectors may not serve at an election where their spouse or immediate family member is a candidate on the ballot, or under other circumstances where a candidate’s success or failure to win election would affect the election inspector financially. You would need to contact the Clerk’s Office if this impacts you at a particular election.