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Precinct Board Duties



There is a lot to do on Election Day. The tasks below generally summarize what takes place and presents one way of assigning responsibilities. We suggest that precinct board members rotate duties during the day so that everyone knows what to do in case a board member has to leave during the day. Changing positions also helps to keep fresh. Our Inspector’s Pre-Election Day Checklist of things to do follows the Election Day tasks.


A note about titles: In the old days, a precinct board had an inspector, a judge, and clerks that had specific duties prescribed by law. Those titles have remained although tasks have changed and the titles lost their original meaning. We present the titles below only to illustrate particular tasks; note that the inspector title is absent but needs to perform one of the task-sets below.


Roster-index Clerk

This board member greets the voters, asks the voter to state her/his name and residential address aloud, and finds the name on alphabetical roster-index. The board member then indicates to the voter the appropriate place to sign roster and makes sure that voter signs on correct line.


Ballot Clerk

The Ballot Clerk issues one Official Ballot, security folder, and marking pen (without cap) to each voter who has signed the Roster. She or he instructs the voter on how to mark the Ballot, how to use the security folder, and directs the voter to an empty voting booth.

  • Issue ballots in serial number order starting with the lowest number.

  • Keep only one pad of ballots at a time on the table to make sure ballots are issued in serial number order. For the partisan primary, it may be helpful to stack the ballots for the minor parties.

  • Detach ballot from the ballot pad by tearing carefully along the perforated line closest to the staples holding the pad together.


Index Clerk

This board member is responsible for crossing off names of voters on the rosters that are posted outside the polling place. As each voter announces his/her name and address performs the following (use ruler as a guide):

  • Find the voter's name in the Areduced@ rosters. Names are listed alphabetically by last name.

  • Using the ruler and pen or highlighter, line out the voter=s name and address.

  • Every hour until and including 6:00 PM, up-date the copy of the index posted outside polling facility.


Ballot Box Clerk

  • Detaches the Voter stub from the ballot and gives it to the voter as receipt for having voted.

  • Ensures the voted ballot is properly placed in the eScan. The voter may choose to insert the ballot themselves or have the clerk do it for them.

  • Gives the voter an "I Voted!" sticker.

  • Issues the access code for the DAU (Disabled Accessible Unit) for voters with disabilities and instructs voters on its use.

  • Provides support for all activities in the polling place such as helping voters (especially disabled voters), monitors the condition of the voting booths for any written marks or materials left behind, and maintains general order in the polling place.


All Board members are expected to be at the polling location by 6:30 a.m., and remain until all closing procedures have been completed which may last until 9:00 or 10:00 pm. Breaks are assigned by the Inspector. There are many opportunities for training. Once you have been confirmed as a poll worker, a training schedule will be sent to you. It is your responsibility to schedule a date and time with the Elections Office. Class is mandatory for Inspectors. There also are training sessions on the care and use of the eScan and DAU. An important (but unofficial) responsibility for almost all boards is food. You have a long day and eating well and nutritionally is a good means for keeping everyone’s energy up.


Each Board meets the afternoon or evening before Election Day to set up the booths and signs, and get ready for the next day.




  • VISIT the polling place before Election Day with your Board members. Make sure the booths and supplies have been delivered. If necessary, call the manager of the facility to determine what time the facility will be available to set up the polls prior to Election Day.


  • YOU HAVE A SECURITY LOG inside your roster. This should be the first thing you look for when you open your supply box. You need to record the number on the security seal you cut off and the one you use to reseal the supply box. Failing to accurately and completely filling out the Security Log is the only single task that will prevent you from getting your bonus.


  • CHECK that your election supplies are complete. Use the Check-off List found in your supply box. If there are difficulties or missing supplies, contact the Elections Office at 707-445-7678 immediately.


  • CHECK the precinct ID numbers on your Supply Box and labels for the materials to be returned to us on election night. Make sure the box and materials inside, which have precinct numbers on them, match your assigned precinct number. If you share a polling place, keep your precinct supplies separate from other precincts’ supplies.


  • SET up your polling place, if possible (voting booths, post signs, table and chairs). DO NOT set out Official Ballots, the eScan, DAU, or other official materials until Election Day morning.


  • CHECK your Vote-by-Mail Voters list against the Roster Index. For Vote-by-Mail voters who are not already identified on your Roster Index, place a mark (VBM) on the signature line of each voter in the Roster-Index whose name also appears on the List of Vote-by-Mail Voters provided by the Elections Office. This will help identify that the voter has applied for an Absent Voter’s Ballot and must surrender it to you before being allowed to vote.


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