Election Worker Information

Douglas County, Nebraska mobilizes approximately 2,000 poll workers for each county-wide election. Our workforce is comprised of volunteers and persons drafted to serve election duty. Election workers may work a variety of duties from working at polling places, to answering phones at the Election Commission office, to counting ballots.

Did you receive a selection letter? Visit our Respond to Selection Letter page to fill out our online form.

Important Dates

Note: Dates below are subject to change.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 New Volunteer Applications Due for Persons Wanting to Work the 2022 Primary Election
Friday, February 25, 2022 Selection Letters Mailed
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 2022 Statewide Gubernatorial Primary Election

The above dates are subject to change and will be updated to reflect any of those changes.

Qualifications

Election workers must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a registered voter in Douglas County, Nebraska. *The election commissioner may appoint a person who is at least 16 years old but ineligible to register to vote as a clerk of election.
  • Cannot be a candidate appearing on the ballot, an immediate family member of a candidate, or a paid staff member, intern, or volunteer or an unpaid person serving in a significant role for a candidate appearing on the ballot.
  • Read, write, and speak English.

Poll workers (election workers who work at a polling place) must meet these additional qualifications:

  • Complete poll worker training before each and every election.
  • Be able to work a 13.5-hour workday.*
  • Be able to lift at least 30 lbs.*

*If you cannot meet this requirement, we can appoint you to another duty at the Election Commission office.

Douglas County, Nebraska is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, creed, national origin, age, marital status, handicap, disability, political affiliation, or belief.

Responsibilities

More than any other election duty, our greatest need is poll workers - election workers who serve voters at a polling place. Working with your fellow poll workers and under the supervision of an Inspector, you will:

  • Open the poll. Arrive at the polling place by 7:00 a.m., and prepare the poll so it is ready for voters at 8:00 a.m.
  • Administer elections properly and fairly.
  • Assist voters through the voting process.
  • Close the poll at 8:00 p.m., and work until all duties are complete.

Election Workers serve in one of three roles at a polling place on Election Day:

Duty Responsibilities
Clerk/Judge/*Greeter Working with your fellow poll workers and under the supervision of an Inspector, you will set up a polling place, help voters through the voting process, and return the polling place to its original condition. During the voting process, you could serve in all three positions on Election Day. You are primarily sitting.
Inspector and *Assistant Inspector Inspectors and Assistant Inspectors are experienced election workers who supervise poll workers at a polling place. You are deputized by the Election Commissioner and serve in a nonpartisan capacity -- regardless of your registered party affiliation. You will ensure proper election procedures are followed, answer voter and poll workers questions, and fill in for poll workers during breaks. You are standing and sitting.
District Supervisors District Supervisors are long-time election workers, having served in various roles for the Election Commission. You are deputized by the Election Commissioner and serve in a nonpartisan capacity -- regardless of your registered party affiliation. You will supervise a group of polling places, visiting each site periodically during Election Day, assisting inspectors, poll workers, and voters, taking voter counts, providing additional supplies, and other duties as needed. You are standing and sitting.

*This position typically serves elections with expected high voter turnout

You are expected to know the duties of each position. You may serve in all three positions throughout the day on Election Day. Should an Inspector or Assistant Inspector be unable to serve, you may be appointed to either duty until a replacement is dispatched to the polling place (if possible) or for the remainder of day.

The voting process is transparent and ensures a voter's choices are private. Each step of the voting process is done in full view of the voter. Voters, you, and your fellow election workers help ensure that the process is administered properly and fairly and each person involved is held accountable.

Volunteers

The Douglas County Election Commission administers fair elections for all political subdivisions within the county and does everything possible to ensure every vote counts. We simply could not do it without our volunteers. As an election worker at a polling place, you will:

  • Be a part of the democratic process. Learn about our election process and help ensure our elections are fair for everyone.
  • Serve your neighbors. Polling places are located in your community, so you will assist familiar and new faces - all eager to participate in our democracy.
  • Serve your community. Join the more than 2,000 volunteers necessary to properly administer our elections.
  • Be compensated for your time. You are paid for training and a minimum of $9.00 per hour for your election duty. You also receive paid lunch and dinner breaks. Learn more.
  • Work without penalty from your employer. State law allows you to work on Election Day without penalty from your employer. Your employer must allow you to work an election and cannot require you to use vacation or sick time, and you cannot lose regular pay or overtime. Learn more.

Apply to be a volunteer election worker.

Draftees

The Douglas County Election Commission serves more than 360,000 registered voters at approximately 230 precincts across the county from downtown Omaha to Valley and from Bennington to Ralston. It takes more than 2,000 election workers to administer each election. More than fifty-percent of all election workers are volunteers. The Election Commission must draft voters to serve election duty in order to ensure elections are administered properly and fairly.

  • Why was I drafted for election duty? You were randomly chosen from the roll of registered voters in the county to serve election duty as authorized by Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-221.
  • How many elections am I required to work? Drafted election workers must serve four (4) elections to complete their required service. Draftees will be notified no less than 60 days prior to an election if they are required to work that election. Mailing dates will be listed under Important Dates.
  • May I be excused from election duty? If you are age 70 or older, you may choose to be excused from election duty, or if you feel that you are unable to fulfill your election duty for health or other sufficient reasons, your election duty may be postponed for one or more elections or excused all together.

    Documentation is required and must meet certain criteria. We do not require documentation from voters who are (a) 70 or older and choose to opt-out of election duty and/or (b) candidates for public office or their immediate family members since a voter's age and candidate filing status are known to the Election Commission. We created a tool to help drafted election workers determine (1) whether or not they are eligible for a postponement, excusal, or accommodations, (2) what documentation (if any) is required in order to be granted a postponement, excusal, or accommodations, and (3) how to submit your documentation. Due dates will be listed under Important Dates.
  • I can work but need accommodations in order to work. You may have a medical issue or personal circumstance that requires accommodations in order to perform your election duty. Examples of accommodations include: cannot sit for long periods of time, needs breaks to express milk for a newborn, etc. We may ask you to work a different duty if the accommodations needed prevent you from completing the responsibilities of your duty or cannot be provided at your worksite.

    Documentation is required and must meet certain criteria. We do not require documentation from voters who are (a) 70 or older and choose to opt-out of election duty and/or (b) candidates for public office or their immediate family members since a voter's age and candidate filing status are known to the Election Commission. We created a tool to help drafted election workers determine (1) whether or not they are eligible for a postponement, excusal, or accommodations, (2) what documentation (if any) is required in order to be granted a postponement, excusal, or accommodations, and (3) how to submit your documentation. Due dates will be listed under Important Dates.
  • What happens if I don't fulfill the obligations of my election duty? A draftee who fails to serve the term of their appointment is guilty of a Class V misdemeanor. As outlined in Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-221, the names of violators shall be submitted to local law enforcement for citation.

All newly drafted election workers must complete a New Election Worker Questionnaire form. Due dates will be listed under Important Dates and in your draft notice.

If an election worker does not wish to serve, they may cancel their voter registration; however, they will be unable to vote. If a draftee re-registers to vote, they are still required to serve their election duty. A voter may cancel their registration by filing a Voter Cancellation Form with the Election Commission.

Timeline

The Douglas County Election Commission is responsible for administering elections for all political subdivisions within the county. Elections are either regularly occurring or called as needed. Statewide Presidential, Statewide Gubernatorial, and City of Omaha are regular occurring elections in Douglas County. A regular occuring election is held each year for three consecutive election years followed by a year without any regular elections. Each election year has two types of elections: a primary election and a general election. This election cycle repeats every four years:

Election Year Occurrence Type Special Elections
Statewide Presidential Every four years in an even-numbered year that is divisible by four

Primary: First Tuesday after the second Monday in May

General: First Tuesday following the first Monday in November

Special elections may be called as needed. Election workers may be called to serve these elections. All special elections are held on the first Tuesday following the second Monday in the applicable month, as outlined in Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-405.
City of Omaha Every four years in odd-numbered years

Primary: First Tuesday in April

General: First Tuesday after the second Monday in May

Statewide Gubernatorial Every four years in an even-numbered year that is not divisible by four

Primary: First Tuesday after the second Monday in May

General: First Tuesday following the first Monday in November

No Statewide or City of Omaha Elections Every four years in an odd-numbered year without a City of Omaha Election. Not applicable.

The timeline below outlines the typical process for selecting, training, and assigning election workers. The number of days shared in the timeline are most applicable to a statewide election. City of Omaha elections follow a much more compressed timeline since there are only five weeks between the primary and general elections versus the 31 weeks between statewide primary and general elections.

Days Before An Election Day
(approximations)
Process
100 Selections
After determining the number of election workers needed for the election, volunteer and drafted election workers are selected to work based on political party balance and worker experience for each polling place and at the Election Commission. This process takes 3-4 weeks to complete.

CITY OF OMAHA ELECTIONS: Election workers are selected to serve the same duty for both the primary and general elections.
70 Selection Letters Mailed
If you are selected to work a specific election, you will receive a Selection Letter by mail and courtesy text and email notifications (if you provided that information to the commission). The letter will contain important information about your election duty, including responsibilities, training, pay, etc. If you do not receive a letter or notifications, you were not selected to work that specific election. However, if you received either a text or email but not a letter, you should contact the Election Commission.

CITY OF OMAHA ELECTIONS: Election workers will receive one Selection Letter before the primary election that will apply for both the primary and general elections.

Respond to Selection Letter
All election workers must respond to your Selection Letter as directed in your letter -- regardless of whether or not you believe you are able to work.

CITY OF OMAHA ELECTIONS: An election worker’s response will apply to both the primary and general elections.

Training Opens**
If your assigned duty is Clerk/Judge/*Greeter, Inspector, *Assistant Inspector, District Supervisor, or Telephone Operator, you must complete training by the stated due date. All other duties will receive training on the day of their assigned duty.

CITY OF OMAHA ELECTIONS: Typically, election workers serving at a polling place must complete training before each and every election -- one before the primary and one before the general. However, due to the proximity of the city primary and general elections, election workers will complete one training that will apply to both elections.
45 Responses to Selection Letter Due
All election workers must confirm receipt of their letter before midnight on the stated due date.

CITY OF OMAHA ELECTIONS: Election workers will only receive one Selection Letter, which applies to both elections.

Training Closes**
Election workers serving at a polling place must complete training before midnight on the stated due date. Otherwise, they cannot be assigned to a polling place. If a drafted election worker fails to complete training by the due date, they cannot be assigned to a polling place and are in violation of state statute. You will not receive any credit or compensation for training completed after the due date.

CITY OF OMAHA ELECTIONS: If a drafted election worker fails to complete training by the due date, they cannot be assigned to a polling place and are in violation of state statute for both the city primary and general elections.
40 Polling Place Assignments**
Several factors are considered when assigning an election worker to a specific polling place. We must maintain political party balance and worker experience for each polling place, which may make it difficult to place some workers at their preferred polling place. This process takes 3-4 weeks to complete.
15 Assignment Letters Mailed**
If you are assigned to (a) a polling place or (b) the Election Commision from where you may be dispatched if needed at a polling place, you will receive an Assignment Letter by mail and courtesy text and email notifications (if you provided that information to the commission). The Assignment Letter contains details about your assigned duty and polling place for Election Day. If you responded to your Selection Letter and completed training but did not receive an Assignment Letter, contact the Election Commission.

CITY OF OMAHA ELECTIONS: An Assignment Letter will be sent both before the primary and general elections to those election workers serving at a polling place. As a courtesy, all other duties will receive a Reminder Letter about their responsibilities for the general election.
0 Election Day
*This position typically serves elections with expected high voter turnout. **Only applicable to the following duties: Poll Workers and Telephone Operators.

Pay

Both volunteer and drafted election workers are paid for training and hours worked:

Duty Hourly
Rate
Training
Pay

Clerk/Judge and all other duties $9.00 $18.00
Inspector $10.00 $25.00
District Supervisor $11.00 $35.00

Mileage: Certain duties receive mileage pay if the worker must drive in order to fulfill an obligation of their assigned duty. For example, delivering an early voter list or returning materials to the Election Commission office. We do not reimburse mileage for workers traveling to and from a polling place to work.

Tax Forms: No tax form will be sent to election workers unless the amount earned for the year exceeds $600.00. Election workers should consult a tax professional regarding how to best claim the income for their circumstances.

Employment Protections

Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-241 affords the following protections for both volunteers and draftees:

  • Election workers must be given time off to work an election. Employers cannot penalize employees in any way for serving as election workers, including discharge from employment, loss of pay, loss of overtime pay, loss of vacation or sick time, or the threat of such action.
  • Employers must pay an employee their regular wages for the time they are absent due to their service as an election worker; however, the employer has the option to subtract the amount the Election Commission pays the employee for their normal work hours from their regular pay.
    • For example, if an employee normally works an eight hour day, the employer could subtract $72.00 from the employee's paycheck. This would cover the eight hours the employee normally works multiplied by $9.00, the typical rate of pay from the Election Commission.
    • The employer should not deduct any money for the training pay the employee received from the Election Commission.

Questions

Please contact the Election Board Department at electionboard@votedouglascounty.com or (402) 444-8683 (VOTE).