Frequently Asked Questions
Should I be an Election Inspector or a Poll Challenger?
We are asking you to sign up to be an Election Inspector.
Election Inspectors, which are paid election workers, have more rights and authority than poll challengers. As an Election Inspector, you are administering the election and can ensure the rules and laws of our elections are being followed. Poll Challengers are limited in what they can challenge and the authority they have.
What is the difference between an Election Inspector and a Poll Challenger?
An Election Inspector is a paid election worker, hired by the local municipality to administer an election. An Election Inspector is trained by the local or county clerk and given a credential to work in the upcoming election. An Election Inspector does NOT have to live in the county or city in which they want to work.
There are five basic roles of an election worker:
1. General Election Worker
A general election worker fills a variety of roles within the precinct on Election Day, including but not limited to: assuring applications to vote are accurately completed, verifying the voter’s identity, issuing correct ballots, recording voter number and ballot number, tearing off the perforated ballot number tab before the voter inserts their ballot in the tabulator, helping the voter when the tabulator rejects their ballot, assuring voter secrecy is maintained, referring to the Chairperson when an unusual situation arises, providing excellent customer service, and providing accurate information and helping voters.
2. Electronic Poll Book (EPB) Worker
The EPB worker is responsible for managing the laptop and utilizing the E-pollbook software to verify voter registration and issue a ballot number. Additional responsibilities include setting up the laptop workstation, saving the voter file and reports in the appropriate location, providing excellent customer service, referring to the Chairperson when an unusual situation arises, assisting with ballot reconciliation process, and the duties of a general election worker.
3. Precinct Chairperson
The precinct chairperson position is leadership role responsible for the management of their assigned precinct and its election workers. Responsibilities include arriving at the precinct at 5:45 am, assigning duties to fellow election workers, ensuring opening, closing and quality check duties are performed, providing excellent customer service, handling any issues that occur, delivering reports and information at the end of the day, and other duties as needed.
4. Precinct Chairperson Assistant
The precinct chair assistant position is an introduction to becoming a precinct chairperson or an opportunity to take on a leadership role without all of the closing duties. Responsibilities include arriving at the precinct at 5:45 am, asking chairperson questions, learning and assisting with the proper procedures for opening and closing the precinct, handling any issues that occur while the chairperson is on break or occupied with another worker or voter, providing excellent customer service, filling in for workers on breaks, assisting with ballot reconciliation process, and other duties as needed.
5. Absentee Voter Counting Board (AVCB) Worker
The AVCB worker is responsible for verifying ballot issuance, processing ballots, tabulating ballots, reviewing ballot return report, and completing the pollbook. Absentee Ballots and tabulating these ballots. AVCB workers are more restricted than precinct workers as they are required to stay in the AVCB room until the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. During this time workers cannot use a cell phone or electronic device, are not able to smoke or use e-cigarettes, and will only be permitted to leave the room to use the restroom or drinking fountain.
A Poll Challenger is a volunteer position where the Republican Party is responsible for training and assigning credentials to individuals who wish to watch the election process and challenge any votes or procedures, they believe violate state or federal election law. A poll challenger is legal protected and allowed to be at any precinct location or absentee count board as long as they have been given a credential by the Republican Party.
What is the time commitment to be an Election Inspector or Poll Challenger?
We are asking anyone who signs up to be an Election Inspector to be able to work all day on August 2nd for the primary election and all day on November 8th for the general election. It is also required that you attend a two and a half hour long training conducted by the local or county clerk in the municipality you will be working.
The time commitment to being a Poll Challenger is like that of an Election Inspector. We are asking volunteers to be available on August 2nd and November 8th. There will also be several different trainings offered in March through election day that a volunteer must attend to be a Poll Challenger. We will break the poll challenger shifts up to two different shifts – a morning and afternoon shift. The morning shift will be 6:45 A.M. – 1:30 P.M. and the afternoon shift will be 1:15 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.. There will also be an option to work all day.
What does an Election Inspector get paid?
The pay for an Election Inspector depends on the municipality you work in. Some areas pay hourly while other hours pay a lump sum for the days work. Poll Challengers are a volunteer position and do not receive any pay.
When I fill out my application to be an Election Inspector who should I turn it in to?
Our goal is to have Republican Election Inspectors in every targeted precinct and on every targeted absentee count board for the 2022 elections.
We are asking you to turn your application in to Matthew Seifried, the Election Integrity Director, so we can track all applications and know how many applications were turned in to which municipalities.
You can turn in your application by either scanning your completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mailing it to 520 Seymour Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933.
Applications will need to be turned in to your desired location the first week of May. You will receive an email notifying you when your application has been submitted.
When will trainings take place?
Trainings to be an Election Inspector are given by the local or county clerk depending on the area you will be working. Typically, the clerks begin their trainings in the summer months of June and July. Once your application is turned in, you will be contacted by the clerk with information on when upcoming trainings will take place. The Michigan Election Protection Team will be in constant contact with the clerks’ offices as well to make sure we are aware of when the trainings will take place.
Trainings to be a Poll Challenger will begin in March and run through Election Day. We will be hosting trainings in-person and via zoom. We will be posting information on trainings on the Michigan Election Protection Website, as well as through emails and other means of communication.
Can I be a Precinct Delegate and be an Election Inspector?
Yes. You can be both a precinct delegate and an election inspector as long as you work in a different location than the precinct in which your name is on the ballot.