Working the Polls

What is an Election Officer?

Election Officers work at the polls on Election Days to ensure that Elections are run in an honest and well-organized manner. Roanoke County needs over 300 workers in its 33 precincts for each General Election.

Who can be an Election Officer?

You are eligible to work if you:

  • Are detail-oriented, able to take direction well and not easily distracted
  • Are a registered voter in the Commonwealth
  • Are willing to work long hours (14 or more hour day)
  • Do not hold elected office or are not the employee or deputy of an elected official
  • Enjoy meeting other people and serving the public

When are Elections held?

General Elections are held each year on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Primary Elections, if called for, are held on the second Tuesday in June. Special elections are scheduled as necessary.

Election Officers arrive at the assigned polling place at 5 a.m. on Election Days and must remain until results are called in at the end of the night. Polling places are always open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.

What do Election Officers do?

Most Election Officers work in the precinct polling places. Their duties include:

  • Arriving at the polling place at 5 a.m. on Election Day
  • Assisting handicapped voters as necessary
  • Directing voters to voting booths and assisting with voting equipment
  • Processing voters by checking their names off Electronic Poll Books
  • Provide and assure privacy as citizens cast their vote
  • Setting up voting machines and signs to prepare the polling place for voting
  • Tallying results, securing the voting machines, and closing the polling place

Are Election Officers paid?

Election Officers are paid both for their service on Election Day and for attending training prior to each Election.

Election Officers must work at least one General Election before being considered for Chief or Assistant Chief Positions.

Is training provided?

All Election Officers are required to attend a training class prior to each Election. Classes are held at the Roanoke County Administration Center. Precinct assignments and training schedules are mailed approximately four to six weeks prior to each Election date.

Will I work in my own polling place?

Whenever possible, Election Officers are assigned to work at their own polling places, but if no vacancies are available, you may be asked to work at another precinct.

How do I become an Election Officer?

Complete the Election Officer Interest Form online through the State Board of Elections.

For more information, please contact the Elections office at 540-772-7500.