ACLU of Georgia

Poll Worker Resources

Click here for a printable version of this guide.

To request a hard copy of the guide, contact voting@acluga.org 

Hiring process

What to know before election day

Before Election Day, it’s important to keep in mind some helpful tips and reminders. The information that follows will go into more depth on many of these points, but here are some general takeaways to aid you in what you should know before the big day.

Training

ELECTION DAY

What to wear/bring

Poll worker attire guidelines vary by county, but best practice is to dress business casual with no political material/slogans visible. If you are unsure of how you should dress, reach out to your poll manager for clarification.

Poll workers should prepare for a long day of service, wearing well fitting, comfortable clothing/shoes and bringing along everything they will need for the day. Some useful items to bring are:

  • Lunch and dinner + snacks
  • Coffee/tea/water
  • Sweater or jacket in case the polling location is cold
    • It is helpful to dress in layers as polling precinct temperatures can vary by location and season
  • Small activities to keep busy in slow/low turnout locations (confirm what you can bring with your Poll Manager)
    • Magazines/books/crosswords/knitting/sudoku

All items and materials brought by poll workers must not interfere with their duties, and poll managers/counties will give guidance as to which items workers should not bring. These items may include:

  • Games/activities that may be more difficult to put away quickly
    • Electronic games
    • Card games
    • Board games
  • Clothes/items with campaign material
  • Pants/shirts with holes, fading
    • Some counties may have specific rules about attire (I.e. Dekalb County does not allow poll workers to wear jeans)

IMPORTANT: As always, the best practice is to contact the poll manager regarding specific do’s and don’ts for each polling location

Set-Up

Before setting up polling equipment, officials must ensure that all setup is done in full view of the public, and doors may not be locked at any time to exclude a member of the public from viewing proceedings.
Equipment must be set up and actions recorded while adhering to the following procedures:

  • One poll official reads the instructions
  • One poll official follows the instructions as read
  • One poll official records the necessary information on the forms

Some counties may have a Monday set-up in which the layout of the precinct is determined and some of the equipment is set-up (but not turned on). Other counties may have all equipment set-up on election morning. Refer to your county’s practices.

Opening your precinct

On election day, several tasks need to be completed before the polls are opened at 7:00 a.m.* Most counties will require you to be present anytime between 5:30am-6:00am to get the precinct set up.

* The set-up steps listed above may also be completed on election morning.

Open precinct

Closing the Polls

The Georgia Poll Worker Manual provides the following rules and guidelines for closing the polls:

  • At 7:00 PM, the Poll Manager publicly declares, “The poll is closed.” Any voters in line at 7:00 PM must be allowed to vote. Position a Poll Officer at the end of the line to ensure that anyone arriving after 7:00 PM is NOT allowed to vote. Poll hours could be extended upon court order. Your County Office will notify your Poll Manager if this occurs.
  • All duties must be performed in full view of the public. Potential voters may watch but are not allowed to enter the enclosed space or interfere when preparations for opening the polls are in progress.
  • At no time are the doors to the polling place to be locked so as to exclude any member of the public from viewing the pre-election preparation, conduct of the election, or the closeout procedures.