Becoming a Poll Worker

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How to Become a Poll Worker

Note! Due to the large number of applications we have received for poll worker positions for the November 2020 General Election, we are unable to respond to all who submitted an application. If you have applied to work at the polls at the General Election and you have not heard back from us, we may have already filled the positions. We will contact you if a position becomes available.

Poll workers — also referred to as “Election Officers” — are a critical component of the American election process and serve a vital role in ensuring the integrity of our vote. Responsibilities include signing in registered voters, explaining voting procedures and the use of voting equipment, providing ballots, and monitoring the conduct of the election.

Poll workers are either elected to office (for a four-year term) or appointed by the Board of Elections. The Judge of Elections and the Majority and Minority Inspectors are elected, while the Machine Operator and Clerk are appointed.

To be considered for an appointment, interested Delaware County residents can submit the short Poll Worker Application Form.

We also encourage high school students to participate on Election Day. Students can complete a Student Poll Worker Permission Form to be considered for a position as a Clerk or Machine Operator. More information is included below.

Typically, some polling locations are fully staffed while other polling locations may be in need of workers. If there is no vacancy in your immediate area, you may be asked to consider serving in other areas. If you are not appointed during the current election cycle, we will retain your information for future elections. As of September 15, 2020, we do not anticipate needing any additional poll worker applications and expect all polling locations to be fully staffed.

Note that all poll workers must be registered voters in Delaware County, comfortable with interacting with the public, and interested in learning and staying current with election rules. There is a high-performance expectation on election day and well-trained poll workers are instrumental in our ability to realize that goal.

Poll Worker Requirements

Citizen of the United States and a Registered Delaware County Voter

Must not hold any public office, appointment or employment in the government.

Must not be a candidate running for public office on the ballot in precinct (exceptions for Judge and Inspector of elections)

Able to read, write and speak English

Must be physically capable of sitting and/or standing for long periods, hearing voters and writing information

Ability to follow instructions from the Judge of Elections

Patience to listen and communicate in a courteous and efficient manner

Must attend County administered training sessions in advance of election


Student Poll Worker Program

The Delaware County Elections Bureau is now accepting applications for the Student Poll Worker Program. This program promotes civic awareness and educates high school students (17 years of age or older) about the election process by allowing students to serve as paid poll workers (Clerks or Machine Operators) on election day. Students will learn responsibility, teamwork, and leadership while serving the community.

Students will be placed in voting precincts throughout the county as needed with a maximum of two students per precinct. Students will be required to attend all training sessions and will be expected to work the entire day.

We urge interested Delaware County High School students to apply.

Download and complete the Student Poll Worker Permission Form and email it to us at or return it to the Delaware County Bureau of Elections office in Media.

Delaware County Bureau of Elections
201 West Front Street, Ground Floor Government Center Bldg.
Media, PA 19063-2728

Poll Worker Positions

Every polling place should be staffed by a minimum of five (5) Election Officials:

Judge of Elections

The Judge of Elections is in charge of all Election Day activities and personnel inside the polls, including the Constable. The Judge opens and closes the polls and is responsible for the paperwork as well as pick up and return of election supplies to the County Election Bureau.

Majority Inspector

The Majority Inspector will assist the Judge of Elections and share responsibility for the operation of the polling site. Along with the Minority Inspector, this inspector will manage the poll books and assist voter sign-in and delivery of ballots to eligible voters.

Minority Inspector

The Minority Inspector is of the opposing political party of the Judge and will help ensure bi-partisan representation on the local election board. The Minority Inspector has the same responsibilities as the Majority Inspector. In addition, the Minority Inspector is expected to appoint a Minority Clerk and sign the provisional ballot envelope. The Minority Inspector will also receive “Envelope B” on election night. This contains a copy of the election results and numbered list of voters. The Minority Inspector must keep this record of election day in the sealed envelope for two years.

Minority Clerk

The Minority Clerk is appointed by the Minority Inspector to assist in the operations of the polling location on election day. They are tasked with checking in voters, tracking voters in the numbered list of voters books, and delivering ballots.

Machine Operator(s)

The Machine Operator is appointed by the Majority Inspector. If additional inspectors are needed they may be appointed by the county Board of Elections. The Machine Operator assists in the operations of the ballot scanning equipment and the ballot marking device on election day. They are tasked with assisting voters and maintaining voter privacy.

Also Present in Most Polls:

Election Day Constable

The Elected Constable of the township or borough appoints the Election Day Constable. This appointment must be approved by the Court prior to Election Day and this Election Day Constable must be able to produce a certificate when appearing at the polls to work. As with all other members of the local election board, Election Constables work under the direction of the Judge and must work a full day in order to be paid.

Poll Worker Pay Chart

Judge of Elections $150 For each service, up to two (2) precinct maximum
Majority Inspector $140 For each service, up to two (2) precinct maximum
Minority Inspector $140 For each service, up to two (2) precinct maximum
Clerk $140 For each service, up to two (2) precinct maximum
Machine Operator $140 For each service, up to two (2) precinct maximum
Constable $90
Polling Location $90 Where approved as paid facility, per room.
Pick up of Supplies $20 Payment is per person not per precinct. If individual returns supplies for one (1) precinct or for ten (10) precincts still $20 total.
Return of Supplies $20 Payment is per person not per precinct. If individual returns supplies for one (1) precinct or for ten (10) precincts still $20 total.
Training Class $130 Board worker must complete all modules of the on-line training and must serve on District Election Board on November 3, 2020 to receive full pay.

Filling Vacancies in the Election Board: Court Appointments

Pennsylvania Election Code (25 P.S. §2675) directs that “(a) Vacancies in election boards existing by reason of the disqualification, removal, resignation or death of an election officer, or from any other cause, occurring prior to the fifth day before any primary or election, shall in all cases be filled by appointment, by the Court of the proper county, of competent persons, qualified in accordance with the provisions of this act, who shall serve for the unexpired term of the person whose place he is appointed to fill… In the appointment of inspectors in any election district, both shall not be of the same political party at the time of said appointment…”

Court Appointment Petition for Judge of Election [PDF]

Court Appointment Petition for Majority or Minority Inspector of Election [PDF]

Dates for Court Appointments - Judges and Inspector of Elections [PDF]

Filling Vacancies in the Election Board: Emergency Appointments

Pennsylvania Election Code (25 P.S. §2675) directs that “(c) Vacancies in election boards occurring at any time during the five days immediately preceding any primary or election or on the day of the primary or election may be filled by appointment by the County Board of Elections from a pool of competent persons who are qualified registered electors of the county…Any person appointed to fill a vacancy in accordance with this subsection shall serve as a member of the election board on the day of the primary or election only…”

If you are interested in volunteering to work as a district election board member, please send the Bureau of Elections a letter or email listing your name, registered address and contact phone number. Please indicate if you are interested in working only in your polling location, a polling location only in your municipality (town, borough, city) or if you are willing to be assigned anywhere within the County.

You must be available to attend one of the County training sessions. The Bureau will contact you regarding your emergency appointment within five days of the primary or election.


If you have questions about serving as a poll worker, please contact the Elections Bureau by phone at (610) 891-4673 or by email at

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About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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