Updates > U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence Releases Voluntary, Nonpartisan Poll Worker Standards for Public Comment

U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence Releases Voluntary, Nonpartisan Poll Worker Standards for Public Comment

CHICAGO – The nonpartisan U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, a collaborative that is working on a voluntary, nonpartisan set of standards designed by election officials to ensure that local election officials are following best practices in areas like poll workers, security and communications, has released its first standards for public comment.

The Alliance poll worker standards were developed based on feedback from nearly 50 election departments that serve 30.5 million voters. The departments range in size from serving 988 voters to as many as 4.7 million voters.

“Poll workers often have many different names in places across the country, but whatever they might be called, they are the engine that makes voting happen in jurisdictions large and small,” said Tiana Epps-Johnson, founder and executive director of the Center for Tech and Civic Life. “Attracting and retaining qualified poll workers is more challenging than ever. These new standards can help serve as a roadmap for jurisdictions to make sure they are following best practices as they think about their poll worker programs. We look forward to hearing from election departments while the standards are open for feedback. ”

“The simple reality is that you just can’t have a successful election without a strong poll worker operation,” said Pam Anderson, former Jefferson County Colorado Clerk and the 2022 Republican nominee for Secretary of State in Colorado. “By starting on poll worker management, the Alliance is tackling one of the key challenges all election departments face. These nonpartisan standards are an invaluable tool for election departments that want to improve how they recruit and manage poll workers. Voters everywhere will benefit.” 

“We the Veterans and Military Families was proud to help more than 63,000 veterans and military families sign up with Vet the Vote and volunteer to serve their community as poll workers in the 2022 elections,” said Ellen Gustafson, executive director, We the Veterans. “These nonpartisan poll worker standards will make the poll worker experience better for poll workers and voters alike. We look forward to seeing jurisdictions around the country adopt these kind of poll worker standards to continue to improve the voting experience for all Americans.”

Excellence in poll worker programs is important because of the critical role that poll workers play in helping voters cast their ballot – one reason the Alliance prioritized poll workers as the first voluntary, nonpartisan standards for release. The poll worker standards define excellence for poll worker programs by focusing on the four areas of recruitment, training, management, and retention.

Key recommendations of the poll worker standards include:

Poll worker recruitment

  • Your election department recruits enough poll workers with the skills and competencies to successfully support voters in casting their ballots.

Poll worker training 

  • Your election department delivers training that helps poll workers understand and conduct their responsibilities, equips them with the resources to find answers to their questions, and sets expectations of professionalism.

Poll worker management

  • Your election office manages poll workers by efficiently maintaining information, communicating effectively, and facilitating compensation.

Poll worker retention

  • Your election office supports retention of competent poll workers and honors their civic contribution by providing a positive poll worker experience, making poll workers feel appreciated, and incorporating feedback on their experience. 

The election community is invited to share feedback on the standards

The deadline for feedback is January 26.

The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is a nonpartisan collaborative that is bringing together election officials, designers, technologists, and other experts to envision, support, and celebrate excellence in U.S. election administration. The collaborative is led by the Center for Tech and Civic Life.