Election Workers

Recruiting Paid Election Inspectors

The City of Portage is seeking individuals interested in serving the community by becoming a paid Election Inspector.  Training is required before working an election and then bi-annually.  Training is typically 2-1/2 hours, held during the two weeks prior to the election in a morning or afternoon session.  All workers receive $20 for attending their new worker or bi-annual training session.  To be eligible to serve as an Election Worker, one must be a registered voter in the State of Michigan.  

Elections offer three types of staffing opportunities to serve: Voter Precincts,  Absentee Voter Counting Board and Election Receiving Board.  Most commonly, workers are appointed to voter precincts and the Absentee Voter Counting Board.  For someone available only in the evening, the Election Receiving Board is a great opportunity.

Voter precincts work directly with the public allowing them the opportunity to vote in person, with 20 voter precincts throughout Portage.  This, by far, is where most people are placed.  On election day, arrival is  6 A.M. with precincts opening at 7 A.M. Precincts close at 8 P.M.  After the precinct has balanced for the day, the workers are finished at approximately 9 - 10 P.M.  Poll workers are paid $150.00 per day; assistant precinct chairpersons, $170 per day; and precinct chairpersons, $185 per day.

The Absentee Voter Counting Board processes all absentee ballots at City Hall.  Various assignments during the day include opening the ballots, duplicating damaged ballots, sorting ballots, and processing ballots through the tabulator.  Arrival time is typically 8 A.M. and finishes 11 P.M. unless a Primary or General Election which then will be much later.  Pay for the day is $150.

The Election Receiving Board works in the evenings at City Hall, 8 P.M., until completed. There is the likelihood of 11 P.M. or later depending on the election, as the Absentee Voter Counting Board must be finalized as well.  The chairperson and assistant chairperson from each precinct take all of their ballots and data for the day to City Hall  and present them to one of the teams of two.  Everything is reviewed and reconciled before the precinct is dismissed.  All  precincts have to be accepted before the receiving board is dismissed.  Pay for this position is $50 for the evening which includes a training review and going over any changes and working the election.  New workers who have not had general election training will also receive $20 to attend that additional required training.  Anyone working the Election Receiving Board must declare a party preference of one of the two majority parties per state election rules.

The staffing process begins approximately two months prior to the election.  Six weeks prior to the election, appointments to work the upcoming election will be made in written form by email (or mail if no email available).  A ”standby list”  for prompt worker replacement if someone does not accept the offered appointment is also created.  After an appointment is confirmed by the worker, for a specific location or for stand-by, it is expected that unless due to illness the worker has made as commitment to serve and will reserve that day accordingly.  A response accepting or declining the appointment is required within 5 days so worker replacement can be made.  For timely communication, email from loebige@portagemi.gov is used frequently.  

New workers will receive employment paperwork a month prior to the election via email unless unavailable.  It will need to be returned to the Human Resources Department when attending training or a week prior to the election, if training is completed online.  All workers should be contacted by their chairperson the week before the election to answer any questions the workers may have about the precinct location, set-up, amenities or what/how to prepare for the day.

Human Resources may be contacted for additional information of election applications/appointments/training at (269) 329-4533.  All fundamental election questions should be directed to clerkforms@portagemi.gov.  

Application Process

Individuals interested in becoming an election worker may complete the application at City Hall or Download the  2022 Election Worker Application .  Applications can be submitted via email to Human Resources, by fax (269) 329-4520 or returned to:

Human Resources
City of Portage
7900 South Westnedge Avenue
Portage, MI 49002