Serve as a Poll Worker

Poll workers at an elections table issuing a paper ballot


Did you know that it takes almost 3,000 poll workers to conduct an election in San Francisco? Dedicated poll workers help maintain the integrity of the election process by serving at polling places across the City on Election Day. Poll workers have a shared mission to protect voter rights, serve voters with respect, and assist all voters with casting their vote.

Over 1,300 poll workers who are bilingual in English and Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnamese use their language skills on Election Day to ensure all voters can cast their ballot privately and independently. Bilingual poll workers are integral to ensuring language access throughout San Francisco polling places.

Being a poll worker is an exceptional opportunity to learn about the election process and serve your community while earning a stipend of up to $240. Poll workers represent a diverse cross-section of the city, from high school students learning on-the-job civics lessons to adults taking time out of their busy days to help others vote. Working together with their polling place team, and supported by Department of Elections’ staff, poll workers make Election Day possible in San Francisco.

What to Expect as a Poll Worker

As a poll worker, you will be assigned to one of San Francisco’s polling places and be part of the team that makes Election Day happen. Polling place teams typically include a polling place supervisor, known as the Inspector, and three poll workers. On Election Day, you and your polling place team will be supported by a dedicated group of Department staff providing remote assistance from the City Hall Election Center, and field support staff providing in person assistance at the polls.

Poll worker responsibilities include assisting voters who come to vote on Election Day and completing various other tasks that are critical to ensuring the integrity of the election process, such as setting up the accessible voting equipment, making translated materials available, and transferring the custody of ballots after polls close. Polling place Inspectors have additional responsibilities such as picking up the supply bag after training class that contains official ballots and other voting materials and bringing the supply bag to the polling place on Election Day, assigning tasks to other poll workers, and ensuring the polling place is continually operating according to procedures.

Stipend Information

You will receive a stipend for serving San Francisco voters on Election Day. To be eligible to receive the stipend you must complete the required in person training class and all responsibilities assigned to you on Election Day.

  • Adult Poll Workers (Clerks and Translators) - $180, plus $20 bonus for bilingual poll workers who complete the online training course
  • Adult Poll Workers (Inspectors) - $200, plus $20 bonus for picking up supply bag before Election Day and bringing it to the polling place on Election Day, plus $20 bonus for bilingual inspectors who complete the online bilingual training course
  • High School Student Poll Workers - $180, plus $20 for the bilingual students who complete the online bilingual training course

On Election morning, you must sign the Payroll Sheet at your polling place confirming your name, address, and presence at the site. Stipend checks are issued in the name of the poll worker only. Stipends are paid by check and are mailed about three weeks after an election.

Apply to be a Poll Worker

If you are interested in serving as a poll worker and meet the qualifications, we encourage you to apply!

Qualifications to Be a Poll Worker

To serve as a poll worker, you must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen, and a registered voter in California or a non-citizen with permanent resident status who would otherwise be eligible to vote
  • Be able to communicate effectively and follow written instructions
  • Be able to attend a mandatory in-person training class prior to each election
  • Be able to provide assistance to all voters

If you are a high school student who is at least 16 years of age, you can apply through our High School Poll Worker Program.

Apply to be a New Poll Worker

If you would like to serve as a poll worker and have not served before, please complete the online Poll Worker Application. Once we receive your application, we will contact you to discuss the next steps of the process.

Experienced Poll Workers

We’re excited to have you back on the team! Approximately two months before the next election, you will receive an availability letter from the Department. To indicate your availability for the upcoming election, complete the letter and return it to the Department or respond online through the Poll Worker profile.

If you have not received communication from us, or cannot access your Poll Worker Profile, please contact us at (415) 554-4395.

High School Poll Worker Program

Every election, the Department recruits approximately 1,000 high school students who join forces with other members of the community to serve at polling places around the City. The High School Poll Worker program provides a unique opportunity for students to engage with the elections process, add skills to their resume, earn a stipend, and gain hands-on community service experience. High School student poll worker shifts begin at 6:00 a.m. sharp on Election Day and end at 9:00 p.m.

If you are interested in participating in the High School Poll Worker program please submit an High School Poll Worker application (PDF) to the department. To learn about other ways to get involved in the election process, please visit the High School Programs page.

Election Day Support Staff

The Department hires and trains approximately 100 field staff, including Field Support Staff and District Support Team personnel, to monitor activities at the polls on Election Day and provide status updates to the Department of Elections.

Each Field Support Staff member is responsible for monitoring a territory of five to seven polling places. Tasks include ensuring that polling places are open for voting and operating according to procedures, providing assistance to poll workers, replenishing election materials, and general troubleshooting.

Each District Support Team member is responsible for monitoring a territory of approximately thirty polling places to ensure facilities in the territory are accessible to all voters. District Support Team members are trained to mitigate potential accessibility issues, and help ensure that all materials and accessibility equipment are properly set up at the polls, including signage, cones, clamp lights, tree lights, electrical adapters, extension cords, caution tape, and extra voting booths and chairs.

If you are interested in joining the field support team as a Field Support Staff member or a District Support Team member, apply for the position through the San Francisco Department of Human Resources approximately three months before the election.

Your Poll Worker Profile

Your Poll Worker Profile allows you to access personalized information about your Election Day assignment, such as the time and date of your training class, directions to your training class, the location of your assigned polling place, and other informational resources. You can also use to the tool to make changes to your contact information on file with the Department.

If you have previously served as a poll worker, you can use the Poll Worker Profile to confirm your availability for the next election or make changes to your contact information on file with the Department.

Poll Worker Training Class and Resources

Visit the Poll Worker Training Class and Resources page for more information about poll worker training classes, and to access online resources and training materials such as videos, interactive quizzes, bilingual training, and much more.