Election Officials

Election Officials (poll workers) facilitate the right to vote. They maintain order at the polls on Election Day. They ensure that our elections are open, fair, impartial, and trusted.

Apply to be an Election Official


The City of Madison pays its Election Officials the hourly living wage. The 2024 living wage is $15.87 an hour.

If you want to be paid for working at the polls, you need to submit two payroll forms to the Clerk's Office. Please complete and submit these forms before Election Day. You only need to submit these forms once.

Election Officials may choose to receive their pay via direct deposit. This requires a Direct Deposit Authorization Agreement. 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 who are at least 16 years old may work at the polls. A parent/guardian and high school principal must authorize participation. Learn more about becoming a Student Election Official.


The Clerk's Office sends Election Officials an annual "interest email." This email asks you to use an online portal to indicate:

  • Availability to work at the polls that year
  • Polling location preferences
  • Shift preferences

The Clerk's Office sends out assignments via email four weeks before each election. Use the online portal to accept or decline your Election Day shift. The assignment email includes a training link. The City of Madison requires that you complete one hour of training for every election you work.

If you need a demonstration on how to use the MODUS portal to tell us if you are available to work at the polls, please watch our 6 minute video with step-by-step instructions.

Scheduling communications are best handled via email to madisonvotes@cityofmadison.com.

Election Day Reminders for Poll Workers

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. We recommend wearing layers because we don't control the thermostats in polling places.
  • Please do not wear or use any scented products. Other poll workers and voters may have chemical sensitivities.
  • Keep food and drinks away from the poll books and ballot table.
  • Poll workers may not wear political apparel at the polls.
  • Political conversations are not allowed at the polls. This applies even when voters are not present.
  • Be prepared to rotate tasks on Election Day. Tell the Chief Inspector about any accommodations you need to perform each task.

Employer Certification

Some employers require proof that their employees worked at the polls. Each Election Official receives an itemized statement of how many hours they worked. This statement can be used for your employer certification.

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.
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