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Office of Elections
Working at the Polls

The hours are long, the pay is low, but your contribution to democracy is enormous!

Prince William County needs as many as 900 dependable and committed citizens to serve as election officers in its 92 precincts for each General Election. If you are interested in becoming an Election Officer in PWC, please complete the online application or download the printable application and mail or fax it to us. 


  • You must be a registered voter of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • You cannot hold elected office or be the employee of an elected official.
  • You must enjoy meeting people and serving the public.
  • You must be able to take direction, pay attention to detail, and not be easily distracted.
  • You must be able to sit and/or stand for long periods of time.
  • You must be able to lift 40 pounds.
  • You must be available to work the entire day on Election Day.


Election Day responsibilities

Election Officers are required to...

  • Arrive at the polling place at 5 a.m. on Election Day and remain until all tallies have been completed.
  • Set up voting equipment and prepare the polling place for voting.
  • Look up voters by checking names on the Electronic Pollbook.
  • Activate voting cards.
  • Admit voters to voting machines.
  • Tally results.
  • Secure voting machines and Electronic Pollbooks.
  • Close the polling place.

Stand-by Officers may be assigned to select precincts, able to be redirected to another precinct to fill in for Officers who cannot serve on short notice.



Each Election Officer is required to attend a one-time training class. Classes lasting about three hours are held at different locations in the County. Additional classes are held prior to special and primary elections. Separate machine training classes are also offered for those Officers wishing more hands-on training. Class schedules are mailed to each Officer prior to each election.

Chief and Assistant Chief Officers are required to attend a training class prior to each election in which they serve. In addition, the Chief Officer is responsible for picking up materials prior to Election Day and returning materials to the General Registrar’s Office by 11 a.m. on the day following the election.


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Where will I be working?

Whenever possible Election Officers are assigned to their 'home' precinct. However, if there are no vacancies at your polling place you may be assigned to a nearby precinct. Unassigned officers are asked to serve as 'stand-bys' to fill in for scheduled officers who cannot serve or in cases of emergency.


How do I vote if I’m not working at my “home” precinct?

Election Officers are eligible to vote by Absentee Ballot for just this reason. You may request a ballot be mailed to your home or you can take advantage of In-Person Absentee Voting and vote before Election Day. Please visit our page on Absentee Voting, or download an Absentee Ballot Application.

You may also request an application by calling 703-792-6470.


When will I be paid?

Checks are mailed out by the Department of Finance approximately four weeks after each election. Officers who complete the form for direct deposit will receive their pay earlier than that. Each Officer is paid for Election Day and any training class attended. Chief Election Officers are also compensated for the time and travel required for picking up and dropping off election materials.


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Click the link to learn more about the Student Election Page Program for High School Students.


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