Work at the Polls

Election Officers & Volunteers 

Become an Election Officer

Election Officers are an essential position that serve voters at polling places on Election Day and during early voting.  To serve, you must be a registered Virginia voter.  High school students and volunteers can also work at polling places or assist with election-related activities.  Learn more:
Apply to be an Election Officer


Once election officers have received an official assignment to work the election, they must complete a training class.  Assignment emails are customized each election to notify the election officer what type of training they must complete.  Links:
Online Training 


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 and Assistant Chief Election Officer. Chiefs are paid $230, and Assistant Chiefs receive $200. 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 will be surveyed prior to each election for availability to assist. 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.

Have more questions?

Send us an email at or call us at 703-228-3456.