BEST PRACTICES SERIES: Election Worker Best Practices

U.S. Election Assistance Commission

The information contained in this article is not intended as legal advice and may no longer be accurate due to changes in the law. Consult NHMA's legal services or your municipal attorney.

The United States Election Assistance Commission has collaborated with local election officials to develop a series of six helpful tips for election management.  Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are being increasing used by election administrators to recruit, train, and stay connect with their force of election workers.  Since quality poll workers are crucial to every election. these quick tips can help you recruit, train, and assign capable poll workers.

1.Recruit From a Variety of External Agencies

Agencies, community organizations, and schools can be gateways to works with varied skill sets.

2.Use Technology to Connect

Technology is a powerful and cost-effective tool for recruiting and staying in touch with current and potential poll workers.

3.Offer Training That Fits

Poll workers’ responsibilities and skill sets vary.  Consider the specific training needs of each individual, job, and jurisdiction.

4.Offer Training That Works

Training experts indicate that lectures and presentations are not enough.  Poll workers need interaction and hands-on scenarios.

5.Determine Staffing Needs

Knowing the per-person capacity of each polling place and correctly predicting voter turnout allow you to deploy poll workers where and when they are needed.

6.Mobilize Your Poll Workers

After your poll workers are recruited, trained, and assessed, they need to be sent to the right place at the right time.

In today’s fast-paced world the election administrator has little time for reviewing large amounts of content, resulting in the need to directly connect to information almost instantly.  Recognizing this need, the US Election Assistance Commission updated the Election Worker Best Practices Manual in 2016 into four sections and lays out the information in a quickly accessible format, including the latest best practices, via social media formats and links to websites.  This Manual covers how to recruit poll workers, how to train poll workers, how to retain election workers, and other management tips.  There are checklists, training manuals, visuals, and links to the latest best practices.

If interested in downloading this 2016 Best Practices Manual, please visit EAC’s website:

The US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is an independent bipartisan commission created by the Help American Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).  EAC is charged with administering payments to states, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment, maintain the National Voter Registration form, conducting election data research, and administering a national clearinghouse for information on election practices.