Becoming a Poll Worker

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How to Become a Poll Worker

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 application.

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.

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. Training materials and classes are available, as well-trained poll workers are instrumental to the goal of ensuring secure and accurate elections.

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

Must be completely non-partisan while serving in the precinct (not campaigning, handing out literature or wearing political items), and must work to keep the rest of the room where voting occurs a “campaign free zone.” The “campaign free zone” in the polling place is to ensure that voters are free to cast ballots without influence or intimidation.

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 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.


The 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 Inspector

The Machine Inspector is appointed by the Majority Inspector or the county Board of Elections. The Machine Inspector 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.

Poll Worker Pay: Election Day

Judge of Elections $150 For each service precinct. Maximum of 2 precincts.
Majority Inspector $140 For each service precinct. Maximum of 2 precincts.
Minority Inspector $140 For each service precinct. Maximum of 2 precincts.
Machine Inspector $140 For each service precinct. Maximum of 2 precincts.
Clerk $140 For each service precinct. Maximum of 2 precincts.
Pick up Supplies $20 Per election officer.
Return Supplies $20 Per election officer.
The supply pay is $20 regardless of how many precincts the election officer is handling. If the person moving supplies is not the Judge of Election, an affidavit must be signed granting permission for the pickup.

Poll Worker Pay: Training Pay

In-Person Training Pay $130 full day service
$65 half day
To qualify for in-person training pay, poll workers must: (1) Complete in-person training, (2) pass the poll worker test, and (3) serve successfully on Election Day in precinct or as a County-approved standby ready to be assigned.
Online Training Pay $100 full day service
$50 half day
To qualify for online training pay, poll workers must: (1) Complete online review of the election day guide, (2) pass the poll worker test, and (3) serve successfully on Election Day in precinct or as a County approved-standby ready to be assigned.

Filling Vacancies in an Election Board: Vacancy Kits

Vacancies in election boards can be filled by interested parties through the submission of the documents contained in our Vacancy Kits.

These are court appointment documents for positions that were not filled by an election or for vacancies caused by a resignation.

The petition due dates and court hearing dates for the November 8, 2022 General Election are:

Petitions Due in Office Court Hearing Date and Time
Thurs., Sept. 22, 2022 Thurs., Sept. 29, 2022 (10 a.m.)
Thurs., Sept. 29, 2022 Thurs., Oct. 6, 2022 (10 a.m.)
Thurs., Oct. 6, 2022 Thurs., Oct. 13, 2022 (10 a.m.)

Note that individuals seeking to fill a vacancy are NOT expected to appear at these Court dates.

Vacancy Kit: Judge of Elections [Kit will be posted no later than Monday, September 19]
Vacancy Kit: Minority and Majority Inspector [Kit will be posted no later than Monday, September 19]

Filling Vacancies in an 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 serving as a member of an election board (aka, working as a Poll Worker) please complete this form.

Delaware County Poll Worker Staff Form

Note that both new and current Poll Workers must be available to attend one of the County training sessions (in-person and online training is available). The Poll Worker Coordinator Team will contact you regarding your emergency appointment within five days of the election.


If you have questions about serving as a poll worker, please contact the Election Bureau's Poll Workers Office by email at

Contact Us

  •   201 West Front Street,
         Media, PA 19063
  •   8:30AM - 4:30PM
           Monday - Friday
  •   610-891-4000

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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