Election Day would not be possible without poll workers. Poll workers are a vital link between the Elections Office and the voters that we serve. Poll workers are on the front lines of democracy, processing voters, issuing ballots, and maintaining voting equipment. In Contra Costa County it takes approximately 1,600 poll workers to conduct a statewide election!
A poll worker must be 18 years old (or 16 if a high school student), a US citizen, and a registered voter in California. Additionally, non-citizens with permanent resident status who would otherwise be eligible to vote are allowed to serve as poll workers.
Election Day can be long (14+ hours), busy, and occasionally stressful. To serve on Election Day a poll worker must:
- Attend training.
- Have a reliable email address that is checked regularly.
- Be able to lift 25-50 pounds.
- Be in good physical condition that allows sitting and/or standing for long periods of time.
- Be able to follow written and verbal instructions.
- Have reliable transportation to training class and to the polls on Election Day.
- Be available for the whole day (roughly 6am-9pm, with breaks).
Apply online today. New poll workers are required to attend an orientation class prior to being placed.
There are perks to being a poll worker. In addition to playing an important role in the democratic process, poll workers have the opportunity to see neighbors and meet new friends. Poll workers also receive a stipend: $125 for clerks and $230 for inspectors.
Bilingual Poll Workers
Our poll workers reflect the language diversity of Contra Costa County and bilingual poll workers allow us to serve voters needing language assistance. We have over 500 bilingual poll workers who speak Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese. Bilingual poll workers receive an extra $10 stipend.
Sign up now to be a poll worker.
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has approved the Employee as Volunteer Poll Worker Program which allows department heads to release available employees to work at the polls on Election Day. In addition to an employee’s regular pay, the participant will receive the poll worker stipend. Sign up now.
High School Students
High school students have the opportunity to participate in the election process by serving as poll workers. Through our high school student program, students receive a stipend, can fulfill community service requirements, and add experience their resume. Most importantly, students get firsthand experience with democracy in action. To participate, a high school student must:
- Be 16 years of age at the time of the election.
- Have a GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
- Obtain written permission from a parent/guardian.
- Obtain written permission from the school principal or vice principal.
September 14, 2021 Poll Workers
As outlined in Election Code 12105.5(a), this is the list of poll workers assigned to work the September 14 election a week prior to Election Day and this is the list of poll workers who actually served on Election Day.
Election Worker Compensation Rules
This is for informational purposes only. Please consult a tax professional with questions regarding your situation.
Compensation paid to poll workers and other election workers is considered wage income for income tax purposes. However, the stipend payment is not subject to income tax withholding. (Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 3401(a))
Within a calendar year:
- If you earn $599 or less, you will not receive a W-2.
- If you earn $600-1,999, you will be required to submit a W-4 and will receive a W-2. On the W-2, your earnings will be reported as wages. However, no amount will be reported as Social Security and Medicare wages.
- If you earn $2,000 or more, your earnings will be reported as wages and you will be subject to Social Security and Medicare tax withholding for the full amount earned as an election worker, not just the amount over $2,000. IRS Publication 15, page 42