What are the steps in becoming an Election Day Worker?
You must be a U.S. citizen, and a Knox County registered voter. Complete the Election Day Worker application online and submit it. You will be contacted by a representative from our office regarding training for new workers once those classes have been organized. The single exception to the registered voter requirement is high school seniors. Seventeen year old high school seniors, with the recommendation of a teacher, may work the elections.
Is there any reason I can’t be an Election Official?
Government employees (Federal, city or county) cannot be election officials, nor may employees of KUB, CAC, or ORNL. TCA §2-1-112. School teachers and employees of higher education (University of Tennessee, Pellissippi, and Knoxville College) may work. While there is no law against it, close relatives of candidates on the ballot will not be hired. Certain prior criminal offenses can preclude you from being an Election Official.
What are the different Election Day Worker positions?
The three Election Official jobs are Precinct Officer, Registrar, and Machine Operator. The Officer is in charge of all operations at the polling place on Election Day. That includes being tasked with caring for the election supplies before and after the polls are open. New workers typically are not asked to be the Officer of Election.
Registrar is the most common position at the polling place. Their main responsibility is locating the voter in the registration rolls, confirming their identity and information.
The Machine Operator issues ballot codes from a central device and assists with directing voters into the booth area to keep traffic flow moving throughout the precinct.
While none of these jobs are physically taxing, you will be expected to contribute to setting up and breaking down of the polling place. That will include unpacking the voting booths which weigh approximately 40 lbs.
Is this a volunteer position?
No. Election Day Workers are paid a stipend to work on Election Day based on the position they are assigned.
- Officer - $195* (includes $20.00 material pickup fee)
- Machine Operator - $135
- Precinct Registrar - $135
What are the hours of work?
The polls are open in Knox County from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM. All Election Day workers are asked to be at their assigned polling place at 7:00 AM on the morning of the election. The day ends after 8:00 PM or when the last voter has left the precinct. Additional time will be required for reconciliation, equipment tear-down and clean-up.
How will I know when and where to attend a training session?
Once we process your application, a representative from our office will contact you to schedule for training and future placement if you meet training certification requirements.
Do I need the training class to be allowed to work?
Tennessee State law and the Knox County Election Commission require training for all Poll Officials before they are allowed to work. You must attend one (1) paid training class but there is an additional class if this is your first election.
How much will I get paid for attending training?
All Poll Officials receive $30 (up to $35 for submitting automated check in letter) for completing a training session. If you attend class and do not work on Election Day, you will not receive payment for attending the class per Tennessee Election law § 2-4-108(c).
What can I expect the day to be like when I am working?
Depending on the election, your day can vary from very quiet to very busy. Election Officials have to stay the entire day. Plan ahead if you have medication or other responsibilities that need to be handled during the day. Meals are handled differently at each precinct, so plan to bring food and drink for the day unless you are told by your officer that food is provided.
Political party affiliation plays a role in balancing the workforce at each precinct. We must attempt to keep the parties as equally represented as is practicable. However, once on the job, you must attest via oath that you can put bias aside, and impartially fulfill the duties of an Election Official.
If I've applied previously as an Election Day Worker, should I apply again?
As long as you are an active Election Day Worker, you do not have to apply again. If you have worked the polls on Election Day in the past, your record will remain active. If you want to make sure, you may call our office at (865) 215-2480 and we will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.