Join our Voter Protection Team !!!
Get a front row seat to Democracy!
Being a Shelby County Poll Worker is an exciting and rewarding way to take an active part in our democratic process. To put it simply, to protect voting is to protect democracy. And that’s work we can all feel good about.
Not only will you be able to serve your community and make democracy safe and accessible for your neighbors, but you also will be paid for your time. This is because serving as an election worker is a paid position! Pick up some extra cash while serving one of the most vital roles in our democracy.
So what will you actually be doing?
First, you’ll receive training before the election at a mandatory training class conducted by the Shelby County Probate Office and the companies who supply election equipment. On election day, you’ll work at a polling place to help check voters in and answer logistical questions voters may have. You might also help out as a greeter, directing voters to the right tables and making sure that proper social distancing is being followed in the lines. At the end of the day, you might help out with ballot counting or processing.
Poll Workers are typically assigned to work at the precinct where they are assigned to vote, but may be assigned to another precinct in the event their own precinct is fully staffed and there is a need for workers in another precinct in the county.
What are the requirements to be a Poll Worker?
- You must be a registered voter in the State of Alabama
- You must be registered to vote at the precinct where you want to work
- You must interact well with the public and work well in stressful situations
- You must attend mandatory training prior to each election.
- You must arrive at the precinct where you will work at or before 6:00 a, on Election Day and are required to stay until the polls close and the election materials are collected by the Sheriff’s Department, a period of 14 or more hours
- You cannot be a member of a candidate’s immediate family or a close relation, and you cannot be a member of a candidate’s political committee.
- You must have access to a cell phone that can call and text and that you can use throughout the day to report incidents, track numbers, and communicate with the poll Inspector
Student poll worker interns
Eligible high school and college students are also able to work at local polling places as unpaid poll worker interns.
How to sign up
To apply for a position as Poll Worker or Student Poll Worker, you must fill out an application. Click the following link to the Probate Court’s website to obtain an application form, and submit it to the email address or mailing address below:
Application for Poll Worker/ Student Intern
Mail: Shelby County Probate Office
112 North Main Street
PO Box 825
Columbiana, AL 35051
Poll Watchers are the eyes and ears for our Voter Protection team and are the first line of defense against any efforts to confuse and deter voters.
Poll Watchers are volunteers appointed by either the candidate in a primary election or a political party in a general election, and assigned to a specific polling place for the whole or part of Election Day. Each Poll Watcher must be a resident of the State of Alabama.
Poll Watchers can come and go from the precinct during the day as they wish, and may serve at more than one precinct as long as they have the proper appointment letters. Their role is to watch the process, and they cannot participate in conducting the election or interfere with voters in any way. They must sign an oath just as poll workers do.
A Poll Watcher must submit an original appointment letter signed by the chair of the Party’s county executive committee or nominees for office (in a primary election) to the precinct inspector, who will keep it in the Record of the Election. Poll Watchers serving at more than one precinct must have an original appointment letter for each precinct.
Most polling places will be limited to two poll watchers, one Republican and one Democrat. A third watcher may be present when an independent or a third party is on the ballot. For an election where there are no candidates, each political party may appoint a Watcher for each voting place.
An Invitation to young Alabama voters and progressives.
Young people in Alabama, particularly young Black and Latino voters, have long been the targets of voter suppression efforts and have a lot at stake in ensuring robust voter protection activities in our region. We need young Democrats and our young progressive allies to participate as poll watchers on the frontlines of our democratic process.
So what exactly do poll watchers do?
Poll Watchers assist when anything, or anyone, interferes with a voter’s ability to cast their ballot. Watchers have a right to:
- Observe the conduct of the election.
- Monitor the preliminaries of opening the polls.
- Remain at the polling place throughout the election until the results of the election have been posted and the voting machines sealed.
- Observe the ballots as they are counted.
- See all oaths administered and signed, the record of assisted voters, the list of qualified voters, the poll lists, and any and all records made in connection with the election.
This Job is for you if:
- You live in Shelby County and are a registered voter here.
- You are a problem solver and critical thinker.
- You don’t mind volunteering on your own.
- You are available and willing to attend a live or online poll observer training and study the materials on your own.
- You have your own transportation to the polling location.
- You have access to a cell phone that can call and text that you can use throughout the day to report incidents, track numbers, and communicate with the poll Inspector.
You cannot disturb voters, attempt to influence voters, campaign, or display or wear any campaign material or buttons while at the polling place.