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Poll Workers

Poll workers work primarily at polling places, that is, where electors go to vote. Various positions are available, from the deputy returning officer, who handles the ballots, to the information officer, who directs electors to the appropriate table. During an election, poll workers are the front line and make it possible for electors to vote in an orderly fashion.

Special requirements

Individuals interested in applying for these positions must demonstrate the following core competencies:

  • Basic literacy skills (reading, writing and comprehension)
  • Basic interpersonal skills, including the ability to exercise impartiality and to deal with people who may be impatient
  • Ability to serve electors with disabilities
  • Ability to perform repetitive tasks
  • Basic analytical skills
  • Good attention to detail
  • Ability to follow directions and adhere to standards
  • Ability to learn quickly
  • Ability to work long days (at least 13 hours)

Some poll worker positions will also include:

  • Standing for long periods of time
  • Standing or sitting close to exterior doors where there could be inclement weather
  • Checking the exterior of the polling place
  • Completing detailed forms and paperwork with legible handwriting
  • Counting ballots and basic arithmetic skills

Poll worker positions across Canada

Notes: For advance poll workers: Do not take part in any partisan political activity starting from the first day of advance polls and ending after the counting of the ballots on election night. For election day poll workers: Do not take part in any partisan political activity on election day until after the counting of the ballots on election night.

Canadian citizens who are at least 16 years old on election day are invited and encouraged to apply.

Deputy returning officer (polling day)

Principal Tasks

Overview of Qualifications

Remuneration* (Rate is subject to change)

$271.65
Daily rate

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Deputy returning officer (advance polling days)

Principal Tasks

Overview of Qualifications

Remuneration* (Rate is subject to change)

$1,014.16

Fixed fee paid for all services rendered during the entire four days of advance polls as well as counting of ballots on election day. If a poll worker doesnít work the complete period, the pay may be prorated accordingly.

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Poll clerk (polling day)

Principal Tasks

Overview of Qualifications

Remuneration* (Rate is are subject to change)

$247.50
Daily rate

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Poll clerk (advance polling days)

Principal Tasks

Overview of Qualifications

Remuneration* (Rate is subject to change)

$924.00

Fixed fee paid for all services rendered during the entire four days of advance polls as well as counting of ballots on election day. If a poll worker doesnít work the complete period, the pay may be prorated accordingly.

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Information officer

Principal Tasks

Overview of Qualifications

Remuneration* (Rate is subject to change)

$15.00/hour

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Registration officer

Principal Tasks

Overview of Qualifications

Remuneration* (Rate is subject to change)

$16.50/hour

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Central poll supervisor

Principal Tasks

Overview of Qualifications

Remuneration* (Rate is subject to change)

$22.37/hour (+ $53.25 for accomplishing specific tasks)

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*A training session of approximately three hours will be given to all poll workers. Remuneration for the training is $53.25.


Hiring Process for Poll Workers

Returning officers are responsible for recruiting poll workers for their electoral district.

In the first 7 days of the election cycle, returning officers can recruit up to 50% of the required number of election officers. During the same timeframe, candidates and political parties who endorsed a candidate in the electoral district at the previous electoral event can also provide names of potential poll workers to the returning officer. Once this 7-day timeframe is over, returning officers may solicit names from any other sources. Those interested in working as election officers must possess the necessary skills and qualifications, as listed above.

Ineligibility

As per the Canada Elections Act, the following individuals are not eligible to be poll workers: federal ministers and members of provincial executive councils; senators; sitting members of the House of Commons or of provincial or territorial legislative bodies; certain judges; a person who was a candidate in the last general election or in a by-election held since the last general election; a person who has served in Parliament in the session immediately before the election or in the session in progress at the time of the election; and a person who, within seven years before the proposed appointment, has been found guilty of any offence under the Canada Elections Act or the Referendum Act, or a regulation made under the Referendum Act, or under an Act of the legislature of a province, relating to provincial, municipal or school board elections.