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.

Questions and answers about election worker safety due to COVID-19.

Important Dates

Monday, September 21, 2020 Paper Quizzes Due
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 Clerk/Judge/Greeter, Inspector, and Assist. Inspector Assignment Letters Mailed
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 Not-Needed Letters Mailed
Monday, November 2, 2020 District Supervisor Meeting (5:30 p.m.)
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 Statewide Presidential General Election
Friday, December 4, 2020 Election Worker Payroll Submitted to County Clerk's Office for Processing *Checks may take 2-3 weeks to print.

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 other positions 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 - those serving voters at a polling place. Working with other poll workers, 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.

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 350,000 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, you may request a postponement or excusal. Requests can be made online and you must provide appropriate documentation.

    Learn more and apply online. You must apply by the deadline, and you are not postponed or excused until you receive official notice from the Election Commission granting your request. You will also be notified if your request is denied. 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. All requests for accommodations can be made online, and you must provide appropriate documentation.

    Learn more and apply online. You must apply by the deadline and will not be provided accommodations until you receive official notice from the Election Commission that your request was granted. You will also be notified if your request is denied. 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 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.

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).