Stafford County is asking for residents to volunteer to assist as poll workers for the fall elections. Stafford and the rest of the country are facing a critical shortage of poll workers. In 2022, the average poll worker was 61 and older, and 16.7 percent were first-time workers. Stafford is asking citizens to consider being trained as poll workers to ensure our elections are safe, secure and accessible.
“These positions are essential. Without them, elections would not be possible. They are on the ground conducting the election,” said General Registrar, Anna Hash. “We are always in need of additional poll workers.”
Poll workers are the face of the Stafford General Registrar during voting. Starting early in the morning, they set up and prepare the polling location, welcome voters, verify voter registrations and issue ballots. Poll workers also help ensure voters understand the voting process by demonstrating how to use voting equipment and explaining voting procedures. At the end of the day, they have closing duties that end around 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Poll workers must be United States citizens and registered to vote in Virginia. A stipend of $140 is paid to election officials who take the special two-hour mandatory training and work on election day. The training is given two weeks before every election. Poll workers work the November Election and any primary elections held in June.
There are provisions in the Election Code that say employers must give employees time off to work as poll workers. They are not allowed to require employees to use sick leave or vacation to work as a poll worker. Stafford’s General Registrar’s Office will provide documentation for poll workers to give their employer.
Those who are interested may find out more by visiting www.staffordcountyva.gov/electionofficers.