Become an Election Worker
The Warden is the chief Election Officer at the polling place. The Warden must work a full day. The Warden supervises the other election officers before the polls are open, during the election and throughout the closing procedures. The Warden is responsible for maintaining order and for handling violations of election laws by Voters, Election Officers and others. The Warden may use police assistance when necessary. The Warden must make sure that the required materials are available and notices posted in proper places and in quantities dictated by law. The Warden assigns other personnel to their stations establishes the schedule for breaks, meals and for voting. The Warden is responsible for keeping unauthorized persons outside the “guard rail” and makes sure that no campaigning of any kind – even if not related to the particular election that day – occurs inside or within 150 feet of the door to the polling place.
The Warden sees to it that the polling place is properly arranged, ballot box and tabulator set up and working, voting booths set up and in place (including one booth for handicap voters). They are responsible for handling voters whose names are not on the Voting List, voters whose names are on the Inactive List and voters not found on any list – offered a provisional ballot.
The Warden must ensure that while he/she is absent from the polling place, one or more of the Election officers can take charge and thoroughly familiar with all the responsibilities. They make sure that the ballots, specimen ballots and instruction cards are not tampered with and that no unauthorized information is given out. The only figure that may be given out during the election is the number of people who have voted.
The Warden is responsible for making sure that all the election forms are properly filled out and that all materials are packed in the proper containers for return to Town Hall by the Police Office at the end of the day.
The Clerk is the keeper of all facts relating to the proceedings of the election required by law to be recorded. The Clerk must work a full day. The Clerk notes any unusual happenings such as Provisional Ballots, voting machine problems, etc. The Clerk is responsible for maintaining the Election Record and for filling out forms related to the number of ballots received and processed, the number of voters per hour and attendance and hours worked by poll workers.
The Clerk assist the Warden and performs other duties assigned by the Warden.
Inspectors are assigned duties by the Warden. It is suggested that Inspectors alternate duties during the day and that all are available during rush hours.
The two Inspectors are assigned to the Check-In table at the entrance of the polling place. One Inspector checks off and announces out loud the name of each voter, the address and in a Primary, the political party chosen. The other inspector hands the ballot to the voter and directs voter to a voting booth. In a Primary, there will be a different ballot for each political party. It is extremely important that “Unenrolled” voters state out loud the party of their choice and that they be handed the proper ballot. Voters enrolled in a party may only vote the ballot of their party in a Primary.
One inspector will be assigned to supervise the ballot box and report any problems. Do not look at the voter’s ballot. Ballots can be inserted any way the voter chooses.
Applicants must be registered voters. Must have the ability to work with the public in a professional and friendly way. Must be familiar with computers and iPad technology. Must pay close attention to detail and observe all election laws under the direction of the Warden and/or Town Clerk. Wardens and Clerks must be able to work the full day. Inspectors can work AM or PM shift.
Due to the Voters Act of 2022 the Town Clerk's Office will be offering work to interested registered voters for a variety of positions. The Vote by Mail has significantly changed the landscape for poll workers and town clerks across the Commonwealth. All interested workers must attend Poll Worker Training. We will be offering the training at the start of 2024. At that time we will explain the different positions that are available and the time commitment for each position.
ELECTION DAY WORKERS - FULL DAY 6:00 am – CLOSING (usually 9 pm)
EARLY VOTING IN PERSON - FULL DAY 7am - CLOSING (usually 5pm)
CENTRAL BALLOT TABULATION WORKERS - FULL DAY 7:00 am to CLOSING (usually 8 pm)
CLERICAL OFFICE WORKERS - part time hours during the workday Monday - Friday
HOW TO APPLY: Send email along to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the application.
FAQ’s FOR INSPECTORS
What is my role?
- As a Checker, you will perform election duties under the direction of the Warden/Clerk, including but not limited to assisting with preparing the voting location for opening; hanging signs in accordance with legal requirements; counting ballots; checking voters in and out; providing assistance to voters with disabilities, assisting in removing signage; packing up election materials; and helping check counts at the end of the day.
What is a Warden and a Clerk?
- The Warden is the Chief Election Officer at the polling place with responsibility for supervising and monitoring the work of the other election officers. The Warden maintains order, prevents interference with the voting process, ensures that all required materials are available, assists voters, and oversees the accurate completion of all election forms.
- The Clerk keeps a record of all facts relating to the election proceedings and notes any unusual happenings during the conduct of the election. Prepares all required documents and forms for the Precinct. The Clerk assumes the responsibilities of the Warden in the Warden's absence.
- The detailed descriptions of these roles from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are here: https://malegislature.gov/laws/generallaws/parti/titleviii/chapter54/section12
Are there any guidelines or requirements for my role as an Inspector?
- You are serving the public and representing the Town, so please have a strong customer service approach. Be friendly, patient, helpful, polite. Treat all voters, regardless of race, ethnicity, or language spoken with equal respect and deference.
- Make the voting experience a positive one for the voter.
- It is important to not share your political beliefs or engage in any political discussions when working at a polling place. Voters should be never feel that election officers have a bias.
- Poll workers must NEVER argue with voters or display any contempt, lack of tolerance, or prejudice.
- It is the role of the poll official to facilitate the process of voting. Poll workers MUST offer and provide whatever reasonable support and assistance is necessary to ensure that all qualified voters are able to cast a ballot.
- A poll worker must NEVER turn a voter away from a polling place without having confirmed with the Town Clerk's Office that a voter is registered to vote in another precinct/polling place and/or without offering that voter a provisional ballot.
- Poll workers must NEVER tell or advise a voter as to the candidate(s) for whom the voter should cast a ballot or the position a voter should take as to a proposition, initiative, referendum, or constitutional amendment -- even where the voter has requested the poll worker provide such advice or information. While in the polling place, a poll worker should not tell a voter how to vote, recommend a candidate, discuss the advantages or disadvantages, justifications or lack of justification, pro’s or cons of any position or proposition as to which a voter is required to make a choice – even where the voter is a member of the poll worker’s family or a friend.
- Cell Phones and Cameras are not allowed in a polling place. Your cell phone should be turned off or out of reach/sight.
What if there are issues, problems, questions, concerns from voters that I can’t answer?
- Refer them to the Warden. If the Warden is unavailable, refer them to the Clerk. If they are both unavailable, refer them to someone in the Town Clerk's office.