What is an Election Official?

Election Officials, or Poll Workers, facilitate the right to vote and maintain order at the polls on Election Day. They ensure that our elections are open, fair, impartial, and trusted.

One of the most rewarding ways to become involved in the election process is to become an Election Official.

Apply to serve as an Election Official


The City of Madison pays its Election Officials an hourly living wage, which is adjusted annually for inflation. The 2017 living wage is $12.85 an hour.

The City of Madison Payroll requires a Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate before it will issue paychecks. New Election Officials need to complete a W-4 form and return it to the City Clerk's office prior to Election Day. Form W4 only needs to be submitted once.

Election Officials may choose to receive pay via direct deposit by submitting a Direct Deposit Authorization Agreement. Your "EE Number" is the last four digits of your social security number. Be sure to use the correct routing number from a check, not a deposit slip. Routing numbers for direct deposit never begin with a "5".

To cancel direct deposit, submit a Direct Deposit Termination form.

High School Students

High School students must submit an Authorization Form signed by the parent/guardian and the High School principal for each election. Learn more about becoming a Student Election Official.

Employer Certification

Employers (other than the City of Madison) that pay their employees to work at the polls on Election Day may require proof that their employees worked without pay. Election Officials who need this certification may print and bring the Election Official Certification for Employer to the polls.


Approximately five weeks before each election, Election Officials who indicated availability on their scheduling survey will receive an email (or paper letter for those without email addresses) providing their assignment and a link to the training schedule. All scheduling communications are best handled via email to madisonvotes@cityofmadison.com. Phone calls are less efficient and effective.

Three smiling election officials

Why am I a poll worker?

I was raised to believe that working at the polls was my civic duty. As long as I am able, I want to help people exercise their right to have their voice heard. Besides, it's fun.  -Sue G.

I work at the polls to experience the real world outside my daily routine. It is like a vacation, doing something different, interesting, and fun.  -Jean P.

You keep in touch with your neighbors and have a feeling of satisfaction that you are doing something worthwhile to help your neighborhood. There is joy in being part of something of value.  -Sharon F.