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Become an election worker in Michigan!
Get trained, get paid and help your community by serving as an election inspector (i.e. a poll worker). Local election clerks across the state are seeking individuals skilled in technology and project management to serve as election inspectors and precinct chairpersons.
- Complete the steps to become an election inspector in Michigan
- Election inspector resource library
- Frequently asked questions
If you are interested in serving, complete the following steps to join the Democracy MVP team!
Please note: Democracy MVP does not recruit or hire election challengers or poll watchers. What’s the difference?
Step 1: Complete the Democracy MVP Election inspector Interest Form.
Once submitted, your information will be provided to local election clerks looking to hire workers for upcoming elections. Learn more about the interest form
Complete the election inspector interest form
Step 2: Apply with a local clerk directly.
You can increase your chance of being hired to serve as an election inspector on Election Day by contacting a local clerk directly. Learn more about applying at clerk’s offices.
Step 3: Wait to be contacted
Applying as an election inspector is applying for a job. This means you may be contacted by a local clerk to be hired, or you may not! For updates on your application, please contact the local clerk’s office where you applied directly. Learn more about the hiring process.
Election inspection resources
Managing Your Precinct on Election Day: Election Inspector Reference Manual
This reference guide and procedure manual is made available in every precinct on Election Day. Poll workers can use it to quickly answer questions or concerns that may arise on Election Day.
Opening the polls
Closing the polls
Absentee counting boards
Checks and balances
Know the facts (and myths) about voting
What to expect on Election Day
Please find in the following list of third party de-escalation guides and materials for poll workers and elections administrators.
- ASSESS - How to Navigate the Risk When Someone is Escalating
- BDI - Guidelines for De-Escalation and Communication Around Contentious Meetings for Local Elected Officials
- De-Escalation - How You Can Help Defuse Potentially Violent Situations
- EAC - Personal Security for Election Officials
- Election Security - Physical Security of Voting Locations and Election Facilities
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What Is an election inspector?
Election inspectors are what election inspectors, or poll workers, are called in Michigan. Election inspectors are hired, paid and trained local government workers who assist with running local elections. Michigan has 83 counties, 274 cities, and 1,242 townships. During an election, each of these units of government requires a staff of paid workers, known as election inspectors, to assist voters and help process ballots.
What are the responsibilities of an election inspector?
Election inspectors in Michigan are charged with running local elections in
compliance with Michigan election law. Election inspectors at a polling place may have different responsibilities, including greeting and checking-in voters, issuing ballots to voters, or assisting voters with tabulating their ballots. Individuals may also be hired to assist with the processing of mailed ballots on or after Election Day.
To inquire about what jobs are available, please contact a local election clerk’s office.
Am I qualified to sign up to be an election inspector?
In order to serve as an election inspector in Michigan, you: Must be at least 16 years of age.
- Must affiliate with a political party (per Michigan law, election inspectors may not identify as an independent or as unaffiliated)
- Must be a registered voter in the state of Michigan if you are 18+ years of age, or a resident of Michigan if you are 16 or 17 years of age.
- Must not have a felony or election crime conviction.
- Must not be an election challenger candidate, member of a candidate's immediate family, or a member of the local board of canvassers.
You can check your voter registration status at Michigan.gov/Vote. If you are not yet registered to vote but want to apply to serve, you can register to vote online (at Michigan.gov/Vote) and then sign up.
What is the difference between an election inspector, an election challenger and a poll watcher?
An election inspector is a hired, paid and trained local government worker that assists with running local elections. An election challenger is a non-governmental, credentialed election observer, typically appointed by a political party or interest group to observe elections activities. A poll watcher is a non-governmental volunteer election observer without credentials. Democracy MVP does not recruit or hire election challengers or poll watchers. Learn more about the appointment, rights and duties of election challengers and poll watchers.
Are election inspectors paid?
Yes. You will be paid at an hourly rate no lower than the minimum wage. Election inspectors are covered by the federal Minimum Wage Act. Each clerk’s office determines the rate of pay for election inspectors within their jurisdictions. Please contact a local clerk’s office with any questions about rate of pay.
What skills are required to serve as an election inspector?
Michigan election clerks are looking for individuals familiar with skills in organization, customer service, project management and computer software and technology. If you are hired to serve, you will receive official training from a local or county clerk about how to run elections in accordance with Michigan election law.
What happens after I complete the online interest form?
After completing and submitting the Democracy MVP Election Inspector Interest Form, your information will be provided to local election clerks who may be looking to hire additional election inspectors. If you have questions about working at a local clerk’s office, please contact that clerk’s office directly.
Where can I apply to serve as an election inspector?
Completing the Democracy MVP Election Inspector Interest Form provides your information to local election clerks who may contact you, but you will still need to complete an official application with your local clerk’s office to be hired. A clerk may contact you about completing an application, or you may contact a local clerk directly to ask for an application. Each of Michigan’s 1,500 clerk offices hire their own election inspectors independently. An election inspector may serve at any office, not just their local clerk’s. However, applying at more than one clerk’s office means you will need to submit a separate application to each office, and you can only work in one jurisdiction on Election Day.
What is the hiring process for an election inspector?
Like any job, election inspectors must submit an application and then wait to be contacted in order to be officially hired and trained. Each of Michigan’s 1,500 clerk offices hire their own election inspectors independently. An election inspector may serve at any office, not just their local clerk’s. However, applying at more than one clerk’s office means you will need to submit a separate application to each office, and you can only work in one jurisdiction on Election Day.
Once hired, an election inspector will be required to attend official training provided by local or county clerks that will instruct them on how to run elections in accordance with Michigan Election Law.