Officers of Election Information

Poll Worker

The Suffolk Electoral Board is looking for civic-minded individuals who wish to serve as Officers of Election. An Officer of Election serves as a poll worker on Election Day in one of the 27 precincts located across the city’s seven boroughs as well as in the Central Absentee Precinct (CAP) located in the Voter Registration Office. It takes hundreds of enthusiastic and trained election officers to help ensure that we have efficient, lawful and well-run elections. We need your help – please consider applying today!



An Election Officer is part of a team that conducts elections at a polling place on Election Day. Your job is to conduct the election fairly and lawfully, and to assist voters in a courteous and respectful manner.  


  • A registered Virginia voter, who isn’t an elected official or an employee of an elected official.
  • Election Officers are appointed for a term not to exceed 3 years. 
  • On Election Day, you must be available to serve from approximately 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. or later (polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
  • Helpful traits to have include professionalism, being detail-oriented, and having good customer service skills as well as some basic computer skills. 


The duties of an election officer include but are not limited to: 

  • Attend scheduled mandatory training prior to Election Day. 
  • Arriving at the polling place at 5 a.m. on Election Day. 
  • Setting up voting equipment and signs to prepare the polling place for voting.
  • Processing voters by using a computer.
  • Operating and instructing voters on the use of the voting equipment.
  • Securing the voting equipment and closing the polling place.
  • A small number of Election officers work in the Central Absentee Precinct (CAP) on Election Day. These officers check the names of absentee voters off lists and tabulate the absentee ballots.


  • Greeter – welcomes voters and directs them to the check-in area; may also encourage voters to get their ID out and ready. Greeters direct voters to signs and other information such as sample ballot items before voters check-in.
  • Poll Book Officer –checks in voters using either paper or electronic poll books; uses the poll book to ensure people are registered to vote and marks them as having voted; resolves voter eligibility/registration status issues by working with the chief officer and general registrar. If issues can’t be resolved, under certain circumstances the person may be offered a provisional ballot.
  • Ballot Officer – Provides every voter a ballot, while also accounting for all the ballots.
  • Voting Machine Officer – directs voters to available booths and may provide or obtain assistance upon request, maintains each voter’s right to a private ballot at all times; observes voter inserting ballot into the optical scan tabulator, and assists voters in interpreting and responding to system error messages.
  • Assistant Chief Officer – an experienced officer of election who assists the Chief in carrying out their duties. If the Chief cannot perform their duties for any reason, the Assistant Chief should be able to assume the role of Chief Officer of Election.
  • Chief Officer – an experienced officer of election who receives more in-depth training; supervises and oversees all officers of election and polling place operations on Election Day. The chief is responsible for making sure polls open and close on time and all supplies, forms, and ballots are verified and accounted for. The chief can answer most questions on Election Day and knows how and when to escalate issues to the General Registrar or other authorities. Additionally, the Chief Election Officer is responsible for the following:
    1. Picks up election materials prior to Election Day 
    2. Contacts and coordinates team members
    3. Reaches out to polling place owners
    4. Swears/affirms all officers of election
    5. Assigns duties                                                                                                                                                               


Plan Ahead – You will not be able to leave the polling place during your shift.

What to Bring – Food and beverages, medications, emergency contact information.

What to Wear – Comfortable clothing and shoes; remember that many people suffer from asthma or allergy conditions, so strong scents should be avoided.

Typical Election Day Schedule – Polls are open from 6 AM until 7 PM unless hours are extended by court order. The Chief will pick up materials prior to Election Day.

  • 5 AM: All Officers of Election arrive to polling precinct location.  
  • 5 AM – 6 AM: Take the oath; welcome authorized representatives, set up polling place.
  • 6 AM: open the polls and conduct the election.
  • 6 AM – 7 PM: This is when voters cast their ballots. Voters in line at the time the polls are closing are allowed to vote.
  • 7 PM: close the polls.
  • 7 PM until All Duties Are Complete: Secure equipment and ballots; complete paperwork; pack materials and supplies. Chief or Asst. Chief Election Officer will return election paperwork to the Registrar’s Office immediately after all paperwork is completed and equipment is packed and secured.  


Election Officers are compensated at various rates of pay according to their responsibilities at the polling place. All Election Officers will be paid a set amount for all training classes. Election Officers must work at least one general election before being considered to serve as a Chief or an Assistant Chief. 


Whenever possible, you will be assigned to your closest or "home" precinct. However, if there are no vacancies at your polling place, you may be assigned to a nearby precinct. Unassigned officers are asked to serve on standby to fill in for scheduled officers who cannot serve.

Please note: The City of Suffolk Registrar’s Office assigns election officers at its discretion based on criteria including but not limited to the staffing needs for each election, precinct requirements, language skills, geographic location, experience, and party affiliation.

For more information, please contact the City of Suffolk Registrar's Office at 757-514-7750.