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What it takes to be a poll worker ahead of the gubernatorial recall election

Poll Workers
Posted at 5:13 AM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 09:53:56-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — To be a poll worker, you have to be a registered voter, and officials say it’s probably good for you to be someone who enjoys interacting with the public.

While working the polls can be a long day, it can also be a rewarding experience.

“Many of them come back year after year,” said Mary Bedard, Kern County Registrar of Voters.

The Kern County Elections Office needs around 1,600 poll workers in order to staff the polling sites for the upcoming California Governor Recall Election.

Poll workers can work as clerks, inspectors, supervisors, or they can also be student volunteers.

With the election only days away, the elections office is putting out a final call for applicants.

“We’re still several hundred short," Bedard said.

Once you’ve been chosen to be a poll worker, you’ll have to register online for a training session. These training sessions can last between 2 to 3 hours and trainees will receive a $10 stipend.

“Videos that go through how to set up the poll site, what the percent table looks like, what their jobs are," Bedard said. "Then we go through and talk to them about it, give them additional information, and answer any questions they may have.”

On Election Day — prepare for a long and busy day. Poll workers will work the entire election from 6 a.m. to around 10 p.m. Their duties will include setting the poll site up, setting up accessible ballot marking devices, inspecting polls, and packing up at the end of the night.

“Even if somebody’s never worked before, there’s guidance, they’re given instructions," Bedard said.

Poll workers act as volunteers, but they will receive a stipend for their service that day. Stipends start at $110 and can go up to $150.

Now if you’re interested in applying to become a poll worker — you can visit the elections office website at