Election Workers

Recruiting Paid Election Inspectors

The City of Portage is seeking individuals interested in serving the community by becoming a paid Election Inspector.  Training is required before working an election and then bi-annually. Training is typically two and a half hours, held during the two weeks prior to the election in a morning or afternoon session. All workers receive $20 for attending their new worker or bi-annual training session. To be eligible to serve as an Election Inspector, one must be a registered voter in the State of Michigan. Anyone choosing to be an Election Inspector must also declare a party preference per state election law.

Elections offer four types of staffing opportunities to serve: Early Voting, Election Day Voter Precincts, Absentee Voter Counting Board, and Election Day Receiving Board. Most commonly, workers are appointed to voter precincts and the Absentee Voter Counting Board. For someone available only in the evening, the Election Receiving Board is a great opportunity.

Early voting is starting in 2024 for State and Federal elections. This is a county-wide effort and election workers are needed. Kalamazoo County Clerk’s Office will be handling this entirely-staffing, training, payroll, etc. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT PORTAGE STAFFING ON ELECTION DAY. 

Early Voting will be for 9 consecutive days, beginning the 2nd Saturday before a State or Federal election and ending the Sunday before the Election.  It includes 4 Voting Centers for anyone (except Pavilion Township) to use:  Kalamazoo Expo Center, Douglas Community Center, WMU Fetzer Center, and Portage Parks & Recreation. Approximately 10 workers will staff a Voting Center: a chairperson, co-chairperson, and workers.  A Clerk will be present, operating as a Site Supervisor to troubleshoot. The voting centers will be open to the public every day for 8 hours, 9 AM to 5 PM. Workers will work a 10-hour shift to allow for morning set-up/opening and balancing procedures, as well as evening closing procedures and tear down the last day.  Workers do not need to work every day but must commit to the full day. The Kalamazoo County Clerk’s Office requires specific Election Inspector Applications for Early Voting. 

Solid computer skills are necessary for Early Voting. There will be training provided as Early Voting will have a more robust computer module, as well as a ballot-on-demand system. Times and dates will be determined. 

Pay for Early Voting will be $18/hour for Chairpersons and $16/hour for workers. 

More information and the application are available at Early Voting - Elections and Voting - Office of County Clerk/Register of Deeds - Kalamazoo Michigan County Government Web Site (kalcounty.com).

Voter Precincts work directly with the public on Election Day, allowing them the opportunity to vote in person, with 19 voter precincts throughout Portage.  This, by far, is where most people are placed. On Election Day, arrival is 6 AM with precincts opening at 7 AM.  Precincts close at 8 PM. After the precinct has balanced for the day, the workers are finished at approximately 9 to 10 PM. Poll workers are paid $12.00/hour, precinct co-chairpersons, $13.00/hour, and chairpersons, $14/hour. There is an additional $50 allowance for the chairperson and a $25 allowance for the co-chairperson in light of the additional tasks required. Finally, there is an Electronic Poll Book (EPB) Specialist position at a rate of $13.00/hour. This position is for the computer savvy and requires attending additional special training to master the Electronic Poll Book. There will be one EPB Specialist assigned to each precinct.

The Absentee Voter Counting Board processes all absentee ballots at City Hall. Various assignments during the day include opening the ballots, sorting ballots, and processing ballots through the tabulator.  Arrival time is typically 8 AM and finishes 11 PM. Pay is $12/hour for general workers, $13/hour for co-chairpersons, and Chairpersons, $14.00/hour.  This is a sequestered position. All workers are to remain in City Hall for the duration of the day. Cell phones and other personal technology are not permitted.

The Election Receiving Board works in the evenings at City Hall, 8 PM, until completed. There is the likelihood of 10 PM or later, depending on the election. The chairperson and co-chairperson from each precinct must review all their data from Election Day with one of the teams of two. All precincts have to be accepted before the Receiving Board is dismissed. Pay for this position is $50 for the evening which includes a training review, going over any changes, and working the election. New workers who have not had general election training will also receive $20 to attend that additional required training.  

The staffing process begins approximately two months prior to the election. Six weeks prior to the election, appointments to work the upcoming election will be made in written form by email (or mail if no email is available).  A” standby list” for prompt worker replacement if someone does not accept the offered appointment is also created.  After an appointment is confirmed by the worker, for a specific location or for stand-by, it is expected that the worker has made a commitment to serve and will reserve that day accordingly. A response accepting or declining the appointment is required within five days so worker replacement can be made.  For timely communication, email from loebige@portagemi.gov is used frequently.  

New workers will receive an email a week prior to the election from ADP unless email is unavailable, for online completion. New workers need to come into Human Resources with the required identification for the I-9 form. All workers should be contacted by their chairperson the week before the election to answer any questions the workers may have about the precinct location, set-up, amenities, or what/how to prepare for the day.

Human Resources may be contacted for additional information on election applications, appointments, or training at (269) 329-4533 or by text line at (269)358-8637.  All fundamental election questions should be directed to the City Clerk's Office at clerkforms@portagemi.gov.  

Application Process - Individuals interested in becoming an election worker may complete the application at City Hall or Download the 2024 Election Worker Application.  Applications can be submitted via email to Human Resources, by fax (269) 329-4520 or returned to:

Human Resources
City of Portage
7900 South Westnedge Avenue
Portage, MI 49002