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Help wanted: How to be an Election Day poll worker

Here is a county-by-county guide on how to get involved with the election process

ST. LOUIS — With high voter turnout expected for Election Day, election authorities are concerned they might not have enough poll workers due to the pandemic. Many election judges are already opting out.

“A lot of them right now are reaching out to us saying, 'You know, I just don't feel comfortable. Even though you're telling me you've got all of this a PPE available to us, I'm just not comfortable,'” said Debbie Ming-Mendoza, Madison County Clerk. “And so they're calling off for November. And, of course, that rings a bell for us that we need to start working more heavily on recruitment.

Sherri Pogue has been a poll worker in St. Charles County for 10 years. She said she'll work, but said a lot of other veteran poll workers won't be able to this year.

“If we old people can't pull it off, young people can,” she said.

Along with getting polling places ready, a team of judges staffs each polling place to verify registration, get people their ballots, and ensure the vote is cast successfully.

This year, judges will be on cleaning duty, too.

Those who are interested in becoming a poll worker will receive training.
They'll also receive a paycheck. It varies by county, but it is around at least $100 for a day's work.

Poll workers must be prepared for a long day. Election judges need to be able to help get polls ready to open by 6 a.m. on Election Day, and serve until after the polls close at 7 p.m. -- as long as it takes to get all the precinct's ballots certified and tallied.

Missouri allows for half-day workers, so you may sign up for a shorter day in some places, like St. Charles, St. Francois, and Warren counties.

The Missouri Secretary of State’s website offers the following tips for making the day “more enjoyable”:

  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Dress appropriately for the weather, keeping in mind the polling place temperature
  • Check with your election authority on when to take lunches and breaks
  • Get a good night’s sleep before Election Day – it’s a long day!
  • If you have any questions – just ask your local election authority!


In Missouri and Illinois, you will have to sign up as either Republican or Democrat, so polling places are staffed up to represent both parties.

In Missouri, judges must be registered voters; they must be 18 years old by Election Day. In Illinois, this year, qualified 16 and 17-year-old students can be election judges, too.

If you're interested in serving, reach out to your election authority as soon as possible to help them plan out polling places.

“If you can at all give your time, please do so,” said Pogue.

Here's information on signing up to work as an election judge from the Election Assistance Commission: for jurisdictions not listed, visit their website.

City of St. Louis

Voter registration requirements:

  • You must be registered to vote in Missouri to work on Election Day.

Hours and compensation:

  • Start time: 5:00 a.m.
  • End time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Compensation: $75 to $150
  • You must work the full day.

Work requirements:

  • Minimum age: 15-year-old students
  • Attend a training session.
  • Complete training for each election.
  • Training details: In-person training typically lasts 2.5 to 3 hours.

Poll workers must be able to read, write, and speak English. They must declare a political party (Democrat, Republican, or Independent). Technical specialist poll workers may have different requirements. High school student poll workers must receive a recommendation from their school to participate in the program.

St. Louis County

Voter registration requirements:

  • You must be registered to vote in Missouri to work on Election Day.

Hours and compensation:

  • Start time: 5:00 a.m.
  • End time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Compensation: $155.00
  • You must work the full day.

Work requirements:

  • Minimum age: 15-year-old students
  • You must attend a training session.
  • You must complete training for each election.
  • Training details: Classes begin eight weeks prior to Election Day. Training classes vary to meet the needs of prospective workers. (There are typically morning, afternoon, evening and Saturday classes). The classes are held at St. Louis County Board of Elections, 725 Northwest Plaza Dr, St. Ann, MO 63074

Poll workers must declare a party affiliation (Democrat or Republican)

St. Charles County

  • Phone: (636) 949-7550
  • Email: election@sccmo.org
  • Office address: 397 Turner Blvd., St. Peters, MO 63376

Voter registration requirements:

  • You must be registered to vote in Missouri to work on Election Day.

Hours and compensation:

  • Start time: 5:00 a.m.
  • End time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Compensation: $90.00 to $180.00
  • Part-day poll worker shifts are available

Work requirements

  • Minimum age: 15-year-old high school students
  • You must attend a training session.
  • You must complete training for each election.
  • Training details: In person training typically lasts 2 hours.

Poll workers must declare a party, help set up voting booths and be able to sit for long periods of time. Poll workers cannot serve in any election in which his or her name, or the name of a relative within the second degree, is on the ballot unless that candidate is unopposed.

Jefferson County

  • Phone: (636) 797-5486
  • Email: kwaller@jeffcomo.org
  • Office Address: 729 Maple St., Rm. 217, Hillsboro, MO 63050
  • Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100, Hillsboro, MO 63050

Voter Registration Requirements

  • You must be registered to vote in Missouri to work on Election Day.

Hours and Compensation

  • Start time: 5:00 a.m.
  • End time: 7:45 p.m.
  • Compensation: $175.00 to $225.00. Supervisor workers receive mileage reimbursement
  • You must work the full day.

Work Requirements

  • Minimum Age: 18
  • You must attend a training session.
  • You must complete training for each election.
  • Training details: In-person training is required. The length of training depends on the position.

St. Francois County

  • Phone: (573) 756-5411 ext. 5
  • Email: jjones@sfcgov.org
  • Office Address: St. Francois County Courthouse, 1 W. Liberty St., Ste. 300, Farmington, MO 63640
  • Mailing address: 1101 Weber Rd, Weber Road Facility, Ste. 302, Farmington, Missouri 63640

Voter registration requirements

  • You must be registered to vote in Missouri to work on Election Day.

Hours and compensation

  • Start time: 5:00 a.m.
  • End time: 7:00 p.m.
  • Compensation: $10.00 to $15.00 per hour
  • Part-day poll worker shifts are available.

Work requirements

  • Minimum age: 18
  • You must attend a training session.
  • You must complete training for each election.
  • Training details: In-person training is required yearly and typically lasts 1.5 hours.


Poll workers must be able to speak, read, and write English. They cannot appear on current ballot or have a close relative appear on the current ballot nor hold elective office at the time of service as a poll worker. Apply online by clicking on the "Apply Now!" button above. St. Francois County also has a downloadable PDF application, available here: https://sfcgov.org/download/clerk/SFC-Election-Judge-Application.docx.

Lincoln County

Voter registration requirements

  • You must be registered to vote in Missouri to work on Election Day.

Hours and Compensation

  • Start time: 5:30 a.m.
  • End time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Compensation: $175 to $200
  • You must work the full day.

Work requirements

  • Minimum age: 15-year-old high school student
  • You must attend a training session.
  • You must complete training for each election.
  • Training details: In person training typically lasts 2 hours.

Poll workers must able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language, and have reliable transportation.

Madison County, Illinois

Voter registration requirements:

  • You must be registered to vote in Madison County to work on Election Day

Hours and compensation:

  • Start time: 05:00 a.m.
  • End time: 08:00 p.m.
  • Compensation: $100.00 to $150.00
  • You must work the full day.


Work requirements:

  • Minimum age: 16-year-olds who are U.S. citizens and county residents
  • You must attend a training session.
  • Training details: In-person training typically lasts 4 hours.


Further notes:
Students who are U.S. citizens and are enrolled in public or private Illinois universities, colleges, or community colleges can serve as poll workers without being registered to vote in the county.

St. Clair County, Illinois

Voter registration requirements

  • You must be registered to vote in St. Clair County to work on Election Day

Hours and compensation

  • Start time: 5:00 a.m.
  • End time: approximately 8:00 p.m.
  • Compensation: $175 for Election Day; $25 for training.
  • You must work the full day.

Work requirements:

  • Minimum age: 16-year-olds who are U.S. citizens and county residents
  • You must attend a training session.
  • Training details: In-person training typically lasts 2.5 hours. Training is encouraged prior to every election.

Students who are U.S. citizens and are enrolled in public or private Illinois universities, colleges, or community colleges can serve as poll workers without being registered to vote in the county.

Monroe County, Illinois

Voter registration requirements:

  • You must be registered to vote in Monroe County to work on Election Day

Hours and compensation:

  • Start time: 5:00 a.m.
  • End time: after the polls close at 7:00 p.m.
  • Compensation: $200
  • You must work the full day.

Work requirements

  • Minimum age: 16-year-olds who are U.S. citizens and county residents
  • You must attend a training session.
  • You must complete training for each election.
  • Training tetails: In-person training typically lasts 2 to 2.5 hours.


Individuals with basic computer skills are encouraged to apply. Students who are U.S. citizens and are enrolled in public or private Illinois universities, colleges, or community colleges can serve as poll workers without being registered to vote in the county.

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