Precinct Worker Programs

Precinct workers are the backbone of every Election Day. Staff at the Clerk-Recorder's Office work hundreds of hours to prepare for each election, but on election morning, the process is turned over to precinct workers (otherwise known as poll workers) to carry out. We need dedicated community members to serve those voters who go to the polls. Specific examples of what precinct workers do include:

  • Before Election Day, attend training & pick up your supplies
  • Election Day, arrive at 6:00 am to set up
  • Assist voters when signing in
  • Issue ballots to voters and accept ballots from vote-by-mail voters
  • Close the polls
  • Account for ballots & pack up supplies
  • Deliver the voted ballots & supplies to a central collection point

While most poll workers admit that it is a more complicated process than they first imagined, they have also expressed great satisfaction in contributing to an important piece of American democracy.

Precinct Worker Application

If you would like to be an active participant in the political process and make a difference in our community please complete the Precinct Worker Application. Please note that there are special applications for student poll workers and those who participate in an Adopt-A-Poll (see below).

Student Poll Worker Program

The Student Poll Worker Program is a valuable tool to increase students' awareness and understanding of democracy in action. This program is offered in cooperation with local high schools and offers students 16+ the chance to work at a local precinct on Election Day. Interested students should complete the Student Poll Worker application and submit it to [email protected]. Questions can be directed to that email or to 805-781-4989, and schools are encouraged to download and share this flyer and brochure.


Our Adopt-A-Poll program allows businesses and other organizations to create their own worker group to become a precinct board. It’s a great way to support the community and raise funds, too!  If your group is interested in adopting a poll, the first step is to download, complete, and submit the AAP program application.

Your group can help us by volunteering to staff one or more precincts on Election Day. In general, FOUR to FIVE people will be needed per precinct at all times from approximately 6 am to closing, which is usually around 9 pm. The Clerk-Recorder’s Office will determine exactly how many workers are required per election. You must always have at least 3 clerks and an Inspector on site. It is recommended that you have 4 clerks from 6-9 am and 6-9 pm, but from 9 am to 6 pm, 3 clerks is generally fine. While a 3-hour shift is required of everyone who works, a 5-hour shift is preferred.

Your group will be responsible for recruiting the staff for the precinct, making sure that they complete an individual application, and ensuring that each worker participates in one of our training sessions. Following the election, your organization will be paid for the training time and the hours worked by each precinct worker. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to a vital part of democracy in San Luis Obispo County.

If your group is interested in adopting a poll, please complete and submit the APP program application. You can also download and share this flyer with your organization. If you have questions, please reach out to us at [email protected] or (805) 781-4989.

We hope you will consider this program, both as a fundraiser for your group and to assist San Luis Obispo County in administering elections now and in the future. Ensuring that voters have a chance to cast ballots free from intimidation and without the worry of election fraud is a vital part of contributing to a strong local government - and you can earn money for your group at the same time!

Precinct Worker Training Schedule

Training is strongly recommended for all workers and is mandatory for Inspectors. The training schedule will be provided with your assignment letter approximately one month prior to the election. Please note: Poll worker training for the November 5, 2024, Presidential General Election will be held the week of October 21, 2024.