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Am I eligible to be a poll worker?

If you’re 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and can read and write fluently in English, you are eligible. You can’t be a poll worker if you’re a candidate for a position being voted on at your polling place. Keep in mind, you must be an elector in the county of the polling place where you work. Training differs by municipality.

Can I become a poll worker if I’m under 18?

If you are 16 years or 17 years old, enrolled in school and have at least a 3.0 GPA, you can be a poll worker. You just need your guardian’s signature. 

Are workers paid? 

Yes, most municipalities in Wisconsin pay their poll workers. 

What do poll workers do?

A variety of tasks, some of which are different in a pandemic. Workers could be in charge of sanitizing voting stations, enforcing social distancing, help tabulate ballots, or help check in or register voters. 

How do I sign up? 

Contact your local municipal clerk. A list of clerks can be found at https://elections.wi.gov/clerks/directory

Credit: Coburn Dukehart and Lauren Fuhrmann / Wisconsin Watch

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (wisconsinwatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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Nora Eckert joined the Center in October 2020 as a reporter for Wisconsin Watch’s Votebeat project — a pop-up nonprofit newsroom covering local election administration and voting in six states, created by Chalkbeat. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and undergraduate degree from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. She previously worked with NPR, The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal. She’s reported on national investigations into jail suicides, how climate change disproportionately affects the urban poor, the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes and the race for artificial blood. While reporting in Washington, she covered the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump and funeral of Rep. Elijah Cummings. Before diving into the journalism world, she worked as a marketing and communications specialist at a Minnesota biotech company.