IowaAuditors.org

Precinct Election Officials

Becoming a Precinct Election Official

Elections are at the core of our system of government.

The major responsibility of our Precinct Election Officials is to provide each person who is eligible to vote, the opportunity to do so, assuring the privacy and secrecy of each vote.

When there is an election in a county, the County Auditor needs people to staff the polling places. Iowa's Precinct Election Officials are paid at least the state's minimum wage for their service. On Election Day, the election officials arrive at a polling place about an hour before the polls open and remain there for about an hour after the polls close.

The number of election officials at each polling place varies from county to county and may differ depending on the type of election. They may be required to work a 16 hour day, depending on the election.

  • Requirements and Qualifications of Precinct Election Officials
    • Must be registered to vote in the county where the official lives.
    • Cannot be an opposed candidate or be closely related to any opposed candidate on the ballot.
    • Must have good reading and listening skills.
    • Must be a TEAM PLAYER and enjoy people and service to others.
    • Willing to attend a required 1 - 2 hour training class.

      • Iowa Law allows 17-year old high school students to work as election officials. Contact your local County Auditor for details.

  • What does a Precinct Election Official do?
    • Set up the polling place before the polls open.
    • Take the official oath, binding them to be impartial and ensure the integrity of the election.
    • Maintain order at the polls.
    • Instruct voters how to properly use the voting equipment.
    • Determine the eligibility of the voters.
    • Guard the ballots, never leaving them unprotected.
    • Close the polling place, complete election day paperwork and clean up the polling area.
    • Transport results to the County Auditor.

  • When are Elections Held?
    • Elections are always held on Tuesdays.
    • School Elections are held on the 2nd Tuesday in September in odd numbered years. Polls usually open at 7:00 a.m., but school districts may choose to open at Noon. Polls close at 8:00 p.m.
    • City Elections are held on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday of November in odd numbered years. Polls usually open at 7:00 a.m., but some cities may choose to open at Noon. Polls close at 8:00 p.m.
    • Primary Elections are held on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in June of even numbered years. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m. statewide.
    • General Elections are held on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November of even numbered years. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m. statewide.
    • Special Elections are also held on Tuesdays, however, Iowa Law has reduced the number of days on which a Special Election may be held. Contact your County Auditor for more information regarding Special Elections.