Help Buncombe County vote: Become a poll worker

News release from Buncombe County:

Are you interested in earning money while helping support the democratic process? If so, join Buncombe County Election Services as a poll worker to support the 2024 Primary and General Elections. It’s a rewarding way to help our community while supplementing your income. If this sounds interesting, read on to learn more about the perks of working the polls, eligibility requirements, pay rates, and more.

Perks of Working the Polls:

  • Meaningful work
  • No prior experience needed
  • Option to work one full day or shifts for two weeks
  • Earn extra money
  • Great team atmosphere
  • Build highly transferrable skills
  • Doesn’t impact unemployment benefits (Per Session Law 2020-71, any person that is receiving unemployment may work as a poll worker without any effect on their unemployment benefits)
  • Opportunities for students, people looking for supplemental incomes, and retirees with flexible schedules

Representation from both parties is an important part of the process and is statutorily required. “Our poll workers are the backbone of safe and fair elections,” said Election Services Director Corinne Duncan. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to offer our Buncombe County voters the best experience at the polls, regardless of if they vote early or on Election Day.”

Election Services is staffed up for Early Voting during the primary, but we are currently hiring for the Primary Election Day and creating a roster of people interested in working the general election in November. To ensure equal representation, registered Republicans are especially encouraged to apply.

To be eligible you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a registered voter of Buncombe County (Unaffiliated voters are welcome to apply)
  • Be comfortable and confident using a laptop
  • Be able to sit or stand for long periods of time while working with voters
  • Be able to put aside all political activity and conversation on social media and in person for a two-week period over Early Voting and Election Day
  • Be able to lift 25 pounds

Through the Student Assistant Program, students who will be at least 17 years old by Election Day (March 5, 2024) can work as assistants. Student Assistant 101.

Early Voting 
During Early Voting (Oct. 17-Nov. 2) each location is staffed with a captain and a team of workers. Captains earn $16/hour and workers earn $14/hour. Working during Early Voting requires a minimum commitment of 15 of 17 days, including weekend shifts and mandatory paid training. The captain carries the most responsibility with duties including voting location access, task delegation, reconciliation, equipment troubleshooting, and voting process/election law familiarity.

For more information about working Early Voting, contact Karen Rae at (828) 250-4224.

Election Day
On Election Day (March 5), each of our 80 precincts is staffed with three judges and several assistants. Election Day workers receive a lump sum payment (see below) which includes payment to attend the mandatory four-hour training session. Everyone is required to work the entirety of Election Day on March 5, 2024, which typically runs from 6 a.m-9 p.m. Precincts are located throughout the county, and we do our best to assign you to a precinct near your home.

Chief Judge – $300

Party Judge – $225

Assistant – $200

The Chief Judge carries the most responsibility with duties including collecting precinct supplies, officially opening, and closing the polls, voting location access, task delegation, close of polls audit processes, and voting process/election law familiarity. Party Judges are also required to participate in the official work of opening, and closing the polls, as well as the close of polls audit process.

For more information about working Buncombe County elections, contact Karen Rae at (828) 250-4224 or visit

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