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Poll Worker Information
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Poll Workers Are Essential To Our Democracy

The importance of poll workers’ role cannot be overstated. This job is vital to the voting process and essential to the well-being of our democracy. Ultimately, the poll workers are in charge of monitoring the polling place and the election process. Poll Workers are often the only election officials with whom voters interact, so they play an important role in how voters experience and think about the voting process.

We recognize and admit that we failed to provide our Poll Workers with the tools and support they needed to succeed in last year’s election. The Poll Workers didn’t fail, we did. We apologize for letting you down.

We also recognize that we must work to regain the trust of our Poll Workers and our citizens. Under the direction of Jessica Bailey, the new County Clerk, with the support of the Board of Commissioners and County Council, we have been working diligently to implement significant and necessary procedural changes in Poll Worker training and compensation. Those changes are highlighted in the sections below.

SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE TO APPLY ONLINE TO BE A POLL WORKER.


Poll Worker Training
Our Poll Worker Training Program has been revamped to assure that our Poll Workers have the knowledge that they need to succeed on election day, and make the training classes more accessible to potential Poll Workers. The changes include:

  1. A more in-depth and detailed training program to better teach potential poll workers the very important information that they will need to succeed.
  2. In-depth and hands-on training with the new election equipment.
  3. More accessible day and evening classes at locations in Chesterton, Hebron, Portage and Valparaiso. 
  4. Poll Workers will be paid additional compensation to attend training.

The training schedule is listed below. Once you are approved as a Poll Worker, you will be provided a link so that you can register online for the training session which is most convenient for you.

Chesterton Library
    • Tuesday, April 16 at 1:00 PM
    • Tuesday, April 16 at 4:45 PM
    • Tuesday, April 30 at 1:00 PM
    • Tuesday, April 30 at 4:45 PM

Hebron Library
    • Monday, April 15 at 10:45 AM
    • Monday, April 15 at 2:15 PM
    • Monday, April 29 at 1:00 PM
    • Monday, April 29 at 4:45 PM

Portage Library
    • Thursday, April 25 at 9:30 AM
    • Thursday, April 25 at 1:00 PM
    • Thursday, April 25 at 4:45 PM
    • Thursday, May 2 at 10:00 AM
    • Thursday, May 2 at 1:45 PM

Valparaiso Library
    • Wednesday, April 17 at 9:30 AM
    • Wednesday, April 17 at 1:00 PM
    • Wednesday, April 17 at 4:45 PM
    • Friday, May 3 at 10:00 AM
    • Friday, May 3 at 1:45 PM

Poll Worker Compensation
We know that most of our Poll Workers offer to work on election day do so to fulfill a civic duty to assure that our democracy works. We appreciate your commitment, but strongly believe that you deserve to be appropriately compensated for your time.

Poll Worker compensation has been increased from last year to the following amounts:

  • Inspectors: $190. Inspectors that are responsible for more than one precinct election board will be paid an additional $50 per additional board.
  • Judges: $150. Judges that are the opposite party of the Clerk of the Court and must accompany the Inspector in returning elections supplies to the Administration Center will be paid an additional $15.
  • Clerks: $150.
  • Poll Worker Training: Each Poll Worker shall be paid $50 for attendance at the poll worker training session. (Each Poll Worker shall only be paid once for training.)
  • Meal Reimbursement: Inspectors, Judges and Clerks who work the polls on election day will be compensated $20 for meal reimbursement.

Are You Qualified To Be A Poll Worker?
While previous experience as a Poll Worker is desired, it is NOT required. The minimum qualifications for Poll Workers are:

If You Are Age 18 and older:

Qualifications
    • You must be a qualified and registered voter in Porter County.
    • You must willingly declare your political party affiliation.
    • You must be able to read, write and speak the English language.
    • You must satisfactorily complete required training classes.

Disqualifications:
    • You are disqualified if you have property bet or wagered on election results.
    • You may not be an Inspector if you are the treasurer or chairman of the committee for a candidate on the ballot.
    • You are disqualified if you are a candidate or candidate's relative by birth, marriage or adoption, unless the candidate is unopposed.
    • You are disqualified if you fail to satisfactorily complete the required training classes.

If You Are A Student Ages 16 or 17:

   Qualifications:
    • You must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    • You must have written approval by your principal or, if you are educated at home, the approval of the individual responsible for your education.
    • You must have the approval of your parent or guardian.
    • You must be a citizen of the United States and a resident of Porter County.
    • Must satisfactorily complete the required training class.
   
   Disqualifications:
    • You are disqualified if you have property bet or wagered on election results.
    • You may not be an Inspector if you are the treasurer or chairman of the committee for a candidate on the ballot.
    • You are disqualified if you are a candidate or candidate's relative by birth, marriage or adoption, unless the candidate is unopposed.
    • You are disqualified if you fail to satisfactorily complete the required training classes.

Categories Of Poll Workers And Their Roles & Responsibilities
Being a Poll Worker is a very serious time commitment. The polls are open from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and you will need to plan on being there by 5:00 AM and not leaving until up to 7:00 PM on Election Day. Inspectors and some Judges will have the additional responsibility of returning election supplies to the Porter County Government Administration Center after polling locations are closed. Plus, you will need to attend a three hour Poll Worker training class. 

There are a variety of different roles of Poll Workers, and there are multiple duties for each worker. The positions can be appointed by the Chairs of each major political party, and failing that, it is up to the Porter County Clerk to fill the remainder. The roles include:

Inspector
There is one Inspector for each precinct. The Inspector is the manager of the precinct and serves on the precinct election board. They have a much longer and more involved role in the election process as noted by their numerous duties before and after election day. The duties of the Inspector include:
  • Asking voters to provide a photo ID.
  • Challenging voters and accepting voter challenges when a voter is not eligible to vote in the precinct.
  • Picking up the election supplies prior to the election.
  • Administering oaths to the other Poll Workers in their precinct.
  • Announcing the opening and closing of the polling place.
  • Returning all election supplies after the election has concluded.

Judges
There are two judges in each precinct - one from each political party. The Judges are members of the precinct election board, and assist the Inspector in making decisions on matters coming before the board. The duties of the Judges include:
  • Asking voters to provide a photo ID.
  • Provide assistance to voters with disabilities or voters with literacy issues when requested.
  • Accompany the Inspector in returning election supplies to the county Election Board after the polls close, provided that they are from a different political party than the Inspector.

Poll Clerks
There are two Poll Clerks in each precinct - one from each political party. The main function of the Poll Clerk is record keeping and ballot control. Poll Clerks may assist voters in the process of signing the poll list and provide record keeping at the polling place. The duties of the Poll Clerks include:
  • Ask the voters to provide a photo ID.
  • Ask voters to provide documentation to verify the voter's residence.
  • Initial each ballot and/or secrecy envelope.
  • Ensure that the voter has been given the proper ballot.

Election Night Workers
Election Night Workers will assist in checking in Inspectors and Judges from each precinct as they turn in their election equipment and supplies after the polls have closed.

Poll Worker Locations For The 2019 Primary Election
The Primary Election day is Tuesday, May 7. Because this year is a municipal election year, we are seeking Poll Workers for the Primary Election at precincts located in:
  • Town of Burns Harbor
  • Town of Chesterton
  • Town of Hebron
  • City of Portage
  • City of Valparaiso
  • In addition, the Duneland School Corporation will have a referendum on the Primary ballot. Therefore, we will also be seeking Poll Workers for precincts in Jackson, Liberty, Pine and Westchester Townships.
 
We are also seeking Election Night Workers at the Porter County Administration Center.

Apply Online To Be A Poll Worker
The Chair of each major political party has the responsibility to appoint qualified Election Day Poll Workers for each precinct by noon on Tuesday, April 16. If you would like to apply to be appointed by the Democrat or Republican County Chairs, click on the appropriate link below.

CLICK HERE to apply to be appointed by the DEMOCRAT Party Chair

CLICK HERE to apply to be appointed by the REPUBLICAN Party Chair


If the Chairs of the major political parties fail to appoint a sufficient number of Election Day Poll Workers, it becomes our duty to find qualified candidates to fill all vacant Poll Worker positions.

Based on our experience in previous elections, we fully anticipate that the County Chairs WILL NOT fill all Poll Worker positions. That is why we need your help.

We are actively seeking qualified Poll Worker applicants who are willing to commit their time and efforts to attend Poll Worker training and work at the polls. After April 16, we will determine the number of vacant Poll Worker positions, and begin contacting qualified applicants to fill those positions.

We've made it easier for you to apply for a Poll Worker position through an online form.
 
CLICK HERE to complete and submit your ONLINE POLL WORKER APPLICATION NOW!

Have A Question?
If you have a question that we didn't address in the information above, we'd like to hear from you. You don't have to wait until office hours, you can submit your question online now and our staff will reply to you within two business days.

CLICK HERE to submit your ONLINE QUESTION now!