Poll watchers and poll workers play an essential role in ensuring election integrity. It is never too late to become a poll watcher. Being a poll worker requires advance application or nomination and training.
Poll watchers (or election observers) are allowed to observe voting and the election administration process at polling places on Election Day. Being a poll watcher also permits observers to view the absentee voting process in the municipal clerk’s office, central count processes, recounts, and voting in residential care facilities and nursing homes.
Anyone can be a poll watcher. A brochure titled “Wisconsin Election Observers Rules-at-a-Glance” is available by clicking here: https://elections.wi.gov/sites/elections.wi.gov/files/2020-10/Election%20Observer%20Rules%20at-a-Glance%202020a.pdf.
Poll workers (or election inspectors) are appointed officials who take an oath of office, receive training from and are assigned to polling sites by municipal clerks, and receive compensation from the municipality for training and service. If you are interested in working at the polls, you should contact your county Republican Party leadership team. You can find them by clicking here: https://wisgop.org/county-parties/.
Candidates for poll worker are nominated by a major political party to the mayor, president, or chairperson of a municipality by November 30 of each odd-numbered year. If political parties submit a list of nominees, only after those lists of names has been exhausted can someone be considered for appointment as an unaffiliated election inspector.
Qualifications: You must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and able to read and write fluently in English. You cannot be a poll worker if you are a candidate for a position being voted on at your polling place. You may serve as a poll worker only in the polling place in the county in which you are registered to vote. Training differs by municipality.
A Special Voting Deputy is a poll worker who conducts elections by absentee ballots brought to residential facilities, such as nursing homes, for resident electors who cannot get to the polls. This task is completed before Election Day.
To apply to be a poll worker, start by finding your clerk by clicking here: https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/My-Municipal-Clerk. Then click on the clerk’s email address to send a message with “Poll Worker Applicant” in the subject line with a few words about your interest and your contact information.
To learn more about becoming a poll worker, click on one of these links: