Sarasota County, FL - Board of Elections

Join our Team

The Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections employs approximately 1,000 workers for early voting, and at the polls on election day. Our poll workers are trained individuals who are active voters, serving their community with pride. They are trained to provide a high level of customer service and resolve any challenges that may arise on election day. If you would like to join our team and become an election day poll worker, please read through this section of our website carefully and familiarize yourself with the various poll worker positions and the training expectations.


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Requirements, Positions, Frequently Asked Questions and Applying


To be a poll worker you must:

  • be a registered voter of Sarasota County (or be at least 16 years of age and pre-registered to vote)
  • read, write and speak English
  • be able to sit or stand for long periods
  • able to start work at 6:00 a.m. and work 14 hours on election day
  • be able to lift up to 30 pounds with another poll worker
  • have reliable transportation
  • have an email address and access to a computer and the internet
  • successfully complete all training and assessments prior to each election
  • remain nonpartisan while at the polls
  • refrain from any comments or discussion concerning a voter, a voter’s party preference, a candidate, or issue, while working at the polls
  • dress in business casual attire at the polls
  • always treat everyone with dignity and respect
  • understand as a poll worker you may not be assigned to work each election or assigned to the same precinct or position for each election
  • attend training prior to each election

Training

Poll workers are required by law to complete training prior to each election. Below is a list of elections in 2020 as well as the months we plan to conduct poll worker training preceding the elections:

Primary Election Day: August 18, 2020 Training Period: July, 2020
General Election Day: November 3, 2020 Training Period: September-October, 2020

Poll workers are paid a total of $160 to $275. A poll worker must attend training and work at the poll to receive compensation.


All poll workers must complete the required training, and plan to work at their polling place on election day from 6:00 a.m. until the last voter has voted, closing procedures have been completed, and they are dismissed by the clerk. Some poll workers will also help set up their polling place the day before the election.


The clerk oversees the polling place and staff. He/she is responsible for ensuring election law is followed at the precinct on election day. The clerk opens and closes the polls and is responsible for delivering election supplies to the precinct and returning them to the elections office at the end of election day. The clerk and assistant clerk communicate with the supervisor of elections office to resolve voter issues.


The assistant clerk assists the clerk, assumes responsibility for the polling place if the clerk is unavailable, assists in overseeing the polling room operation, performs voting system opening and closing procedures with the clerk, and may also act as an inspector to assist voters.


The inspector sets up the electronic poll books and registration table, processes voters, issues ballots, instructs the voter on how to cast the ballot and ensures that the ballot is accepted by the ballot scanner/tabulator.


The deputy maintains order outside the polling place, and with the clerk designates and ensures compliance with the no solicitation zone, ensures that the polling room is accessible to all voters and issues “I Voted” stickers.

  • Will I work every election?

  • Poll workers are not guaranteed to work every election and may not necessarily work in their home precincts or with friends or family.  Poll workers serve at the pleasure of the Supervisor of Elections.  Poll workers must be able to work as a team and must be courteous and helpful to voters.
    Poll worker assignments are based on experience, political party balance, and your availability to work.  It is also important to know that the more conditions you place on your availability to work may reduce your placement options. (Example: if you must work in your home precinct, how far you are willing to travel to work or if you must work with a particular person on election day)

  • Am I able to work with my spouse or neighbor?

  • If your preference is to work with a specific person, include the person’s name on your online application in the comments section.  We will make every reasonable attempt to place you in a polling location where you can work together.

  • Will I be able to carpool with other poll workers?

  • Poll workers must be responsible for their own transportation to training class and to their assigned polling places on Election Day.  Clerks and assistant clerks should coordinate transportation so that they can travel together after closing as it is required that materials and ballots be under dual control when returned to check-in sites at the end of election day.

  • Will I be able to take breaks during the day?

  • Yes. However, all breaks must be scheduled with the approval of the precinct clerk. Poll workers must remain at the polling location during election day. Poll workers are not permitted to eat, drink, read the newspaper or use electronic devices while performing their duties as poll workers. These activities may be done on scheduled breaks outside the view of voters. Smoking is not allowed inside the polling place.

  • What is my role at the poll on election day?

  • Poll workers are representatives of the Supervisor of Elections office, which is a NONPARTISAN office. Providing information, advice or comments about candidates or issues while serving as a poll worker is strictly prohibited.  Poll workers are not allowed to wear campaign buttons, T-shirts or any other item that may be considered political.

  • When will I be able to vote if I don’t work in my home precinct?

  • Your vote is important. If you are not working at your home precinct, you will have the opportunity to vote by mail or early vote. You can contact our office at 941-861-8618 to request a vote-by-mail ballot. Early voting information can also be found on our website at SarasotaVotes.com.

  • When will I get paid for working the poll?

  • Poll worker payment is directly deposited or mailed 3 to 4 weeks after each election.

We are looking for friendly people who can confidently work with voters so that they have a great voting experience. As a poll worker, you will be responsible for voter check-in, issuing ballots, directing people within the polling place, ensuring equipment is operating, or giving out “I Voted” stickers. Learn more about what it’s like to be a poll worker by reviewing the Positions section above.


All poll workers must meet basic requirements. For example, you must be registered to vote in Sarasota County, and you must be able to work for at least 14 hours on Election Day.


IT'S A 3-STEP PROCESS

The online application process will take 15-20 minutes, so please make sure you have the time to complete it before beginning.

Step 1:

You will answer some questions to make sure you meet the basic requirements to be a poll worker in Sarasota County.

Step 2:

You will take a short assessment on customer service, leadership, computer knowledge and attention to detail to determine the best position for you.

Step 3:

You will complete your contact information and availability to work the polls.



After you have finished the process, watch your email for communication from our office.
If now is a good time, click Apply Now to get started.


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