Each year, the Arlington County Electoral Board appoints hundreds of citizens to work at the polls. We are looking for those who enjoy serving the public, possess detail-oriented skills, and will pledge to uphold state and federal laws to run fair, honest, and efficient elections.
Election Officer Requirements
- You must be a registered Virginia voter.
- You must be available from 5 am to 8 pm to work on Election Day.
- You must not work for an elected office or someone who works for an elected officer.
Steps to Being an Election Officer
- Complete an online application (link below). We have to verify your eligibility and process your application. This usually takes about a week.
- You will be emailed the appointment response form. Officers must be appointed each year by our Electoral Board. This form allows you to communicate your availability for particular elections, set your work preferences, and update your contact information. It is emailed once your application is processed and again each year in early March to gauge interest. You can indicate your interest in special activities like volunteer events or early voting help.
- You will receive an email with your assignment to a polling place. If you indicated your availability and we have a spot available, you will receive an assignment for elections that you indicated you would like to work. In some elections, not all officers that have been appointed will necessarily by assigned.
- Your assignment will indicate the training you must complete. Training can range from a multi-hour class at a community center to a short online course. Your training will be customized to your work position, election work experience, the type of election, etc.
Ready to apply?
Please note: If you have already served as an election officer or completed an application, you do not need to apply again. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-228-3456 if you have questions.
Additional Common Questions
What steps are you taking to protect election officers from COVID-19?
The safety of election officers and voters is of paramount importance. We’ve held multiple elections during the pandemic and a recent survey of election officers showed 89% reported they felt the procedures and protective equipment supplied made them feel “as safe as could be expected.” Working any election during the pandemic involves some risk that cannot be fully mitigated. If you are uncertain and/or feel you are at risk, we encourage you to sit out serving until conditions have changed. Click here to see our previous training on COVID-19 to see what precautions we have been taking to protect everyone.
What do election officers do?
Election officers set up the precinct for the election including making sure equipment is operating properly and signage is put in place. On Election Day, they check in voters, distribute ballots, and provide assistance in using the voting machines. At the end of Election Day, election officers will tabulate results and clean up the polling place.
Are election officers paid?
Yes, election officers receive $175 for each election day worked. Each precinct also has a Chief ($230) and Assistant Chief ($200) that are paid slightly more for their experience and leadership. Election Officers must work at least one general election before being considered for Chief or Assistant Chief positions.
I want to work early voting. How do I do that?
Early voting work is limited and election officers can indicate in their appointment response if they are interested in serving in this role. Number of locations, hours, and staff needed can vary from election to election. The best way to be eligible is to apply and work an election to gain experience. Experienced election officers are the most likely individuals to be selected to serve during early voting.
Do I have to live in Arlington County?
No, as long as you are a registered voter in Virginia, you can serve as an election officer in Arlington. We would encourage you to work the elections in your local jurisdiction, but sometimes we have special elections when other nearby jurisdictions do not and we draw upon workers from those jurisdictions if needed.
I can't work an entire Election Day, but still would like to volunteer or work in the office. Are there options for that?
When you complete your Appointment Response Form each year, you can indicate that you are not available on Election Day but interested in other activities and events. We sometimes have seasonal and permanent job openings. You can find them here.