Serving as a Poll Worker

Poll workers at an elections table issuing a paper ballot


The Department of Elections recruits almost 3,000 poll workers to serve at the City’s polling places on Election Day. These civic-minded adults and high school students have a shared mission to protect voter rights, serve voters with respect, and assist all voters with casting their vote.

Poll worker responsibilities include setting up polling places and opening for voters by 7 a.m. sharp; checking in voters using precinct rosters and issuing ballots; closing the polls and transferring custody of voting materials.

For their service, poll workers receive a stipend between $180 and $240.

Health and Safety Protocols

To protect public health, the Department of Elections has adopted health and safety protocols at all polling places. First, all poll workers and voters will have access to face masks, hand sanitizers, and gloves. Second, poll workers will be provided with diagrams detailing how to set up their sites to ensure a free path of travel. Third, all polling places will be supplied with health and safety signage reminding voters to take certain actions to protect public health and comply with local law.

Before taking part in any poll worker related public activity, including in-person training class and Election Day service at a polling place, each poll worker will need to first take and pass the COVID-19 symptoms and exposure Poll Worker Public Activity Health Self-Screening Checklist (PDF). This checklist will also be mailed to every poll worker along with their Polling Place Assignment Confirmation Letter and posted in the Poll Worker Profile.

Adult Poll Worker Requirements

We are always looking for people with good communication and organizational skills to serve as poll workers! Bilingual abilities are a plus! To serve as a poll worker you must be:

  • 18 years old
  • A United States citizen and registered to vote in California or a legal permanent resident
  • Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony; and
  • Not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

High School Student Poll Worker Requirements

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. Approximately 500 high school student serve as poll workers in each election. The requirements to serve as a high school student poll worker are:

  • Be a United States citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Be at least 16 years old on or before Election Day
  • Have at least a 2.5 GPA at a public or private high school
  • Have permission from their parents and their school

Apply to Be a Poll Worker or Confirm Availability to Serve

If you have not served as a San Francisco poll worker recently, please apply via our online poll worker application or contact us at (415) 554-4395 to request a paper application.

If you have recently served as a San Francisco poll worker, we will send you a letter before each upcoming election to invite you to join us again without applying. You can confirm your availability via your Poll Worker Profile or by contacting us at (415) 554-4395.

Your Poll Worker Profile

Your Poll Worker Profile allows you to confirm your availability to serve in the next upcoming election and to access personalized information about your Election Day assignment, online training course, a Poll Worker Public Activity Health Self-Screening Checklist (PDF), and more. You can also use this tool to make changes to your contact information on file with the Department.

Poll Worker Training Resources

Visit the Poll Worker Training Class and Resources page for information about poll worker training and helpful resources such as the Poll Worker Manual, training videos, and much more.

Career Resources

The Department of Elections is committed to helping poll workers and roving field support workers (Field Election Deputies) leverage their Election Day experience into future careers. On the career resource page you can learn how to request a poll worker or field support service verification letter, add a description of your Election Day service to a resume or cover letter, and explore free local, state, and federal employment resources.

Are you interested in other opportunities at the Department of Elections?

Visit the Employment Opportunities Page to view job opportunities and sign up for alerts when opportunities become available.