CATCO Workers

Catawba County Employees working as Election Officials

Catawba County Employees and Retirees:
if you are interested in working 2022 elections or future elections, we will gladly add your name to our potential worker list.

Online Poll Worker Application - or - Call 828-464-2424

The Board of Elections eagerly recruits county employees and county retirees to work Election Day as paid Election Officials.
Each of our 40 precincts is made up of 3 Judges and a number of Assistants depending upon the type of election. During a large presidential election the Board must staff around 300 workers at the polls.

Requirements and Expectations:

  • Must be a registered voter in Catawba County (If you live in another county, contact your BOE office if interested in working)
  • Should be able to work as a team with other precinct officials
  • Must possess excellent customer service skills
  • Must leave politics at home. At the polls, Precinct Officials must be unbiased and fair to all and may not persuade or induce any voter to vote for or against any particular candidate or proposition. An Oath of Office is required of each worker every two years
  • Must attend a training before every election worked

Time Commitment:

  • Must be available to work 13-14 hours on Election Day without leaving the precinct (before 6am to around 8pm)
  • Available to attend a 2-3 hour training session in the months leading up to an election. Classes are normally scheduled at 9am, 2pm, or 5:30pm at the BOE office beside the parking deck near the Justice Center
  • Available for ~1 hour the day before an election to assist the Chief Judge in setting up the precinct
  • [Chief Judge only] must pick up supplies from the Elections Office the Sunday or Monday before the election and return them immediately after the polls close. Chief may be required to obtain and return a key to the polling place facility from the property owner

Other considerations for Catawba County Employees:

  • If you work for a department that is headed by an elected official, you may not work elections in which that position is on the ballot; but, we will gladly use you for other elections. These are Sheriff's Department (2022), Clerk of Court (2022), District Attorney (2022), and Register of Deeds (2024).
  • County Employees normally take election day off work (using vacation time, comp, etc.)--with supervisor's permission. After the election, you will receive a paper check from the county (no direct deposit) for your work--usually a week or two after the election (depending on where that week falls in the Finance Department's calendar). You may pick your check up at the BOE office or have it mailed. This also holds true for One-Stop workers.
  • No person who is actively working on a candidate’s campaign or holds an officer position with a political party is allowed to serve as an election official during that election cycle
  • No person who is the wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, or sister of any candidate for nomination or election may serve during any primary or election in which such candidate participates
  • Near relatives may not work together at the same polling site; however, they may work separately at different locations

Compensation and Duties

Poll workers in Catawba County are paid a flat fee for each election worked. Payment is required by law. Each county sets their own pay rate.

Chief Judge - $275
Chief Judges have primary responsibility for the elections process within their assigned precincts. On Election Day, Chief Judges oversee their assigned polling place and are responsible for all job assignments, all ballot inventories, and the resolution of any problems that may arise at the polls (with support from the BOE office). Duties include:

  • attending a 2-3 hour training class in the months leading up to each election
  • contacting the polling sites to make arrangements for setting up on Monday and conducting each election on Tuesday
  • contacting their assigned Judges and Assistants to confirm their availability to set-up at the polling sites
  • picking up voting supplies from the Board of Elections office on Sunday or Monday before the election
  • setting up the polling site (along with help of the other workers)
  • signing all official documents
  • serving on a Judge panel to resolve any election-day challenges
  • securing the building
  • returning the supplies and voted ballots back to the BOE office.

Democratic and Republican Judge - $200
The Judges at each precinct are responsible for working closely with the Chief Judges to ensure a successful Election.

  • attending a 2-3 hour training class in the months leading up to each election
  • signing official documents
  • serving on a panel to resolve any election-day challenges
  • carrying out specific duties as assigned by the Chief to serve the voters fairly and without favor
  • assisting the Chief Judge with election set-up and with closing the polls, including guarding the ballots and securing the building.

Assistant - $175
Assistants serve as team players at their assigned precincts. Duties include:

  • attending a 2-3 hour training class in the months leading up to each election
  • carrying out specific duties as assigned by the Chief to serve the voters fairly and without favor
  • assisting the Chief Judge with election set-up and with closing the polls.
  • One assistant in selected precincts may be required to immediately deliver results to the Elections Office when the polls close—an extra $10 will be paid to the runner. The runner does not return to the precinct.


For 17 consecutive days before the election, workers are needed at the early voting sites: Newton Library, Highland Recreation Center, Southwest Library, Conover Station, and Sherrills Ford Library. During large elections (elections on even-numbered years), One-Stop workers are recruited (from workers trained to work Election Day) to work at the early voting sites. Weekends are staffed mostly by County Employees. These positions pay $12/hour and are broken into the following shifts:

  • Weekday Morning Shift [Mon-Fri]: 7:30am - 1:30pm [6hrs x 12 days]
  • Weekday Lunch Shift [Mon-Fri]: 10am - 2pm [4hrs x 12 days] (limited number of extra workers to help during lunch rush)
  • Weekday Afternoon Shift [Mon-Fri]: 1:30pm - 7:30pm [6hrs x 12 days]
  • Weekend Shift [Sat-Sun]: must work both Saturday and Sunday [10.5hrs x 5 days total]
    • Saturday: 8am - 3pm [7hrs x 3 Saturdays]
    • Sunday: 1:30pm - 5:00pm [3.5hrs x 2 Sundays]

Note: One-Stop workers must pick a shift and work that same shift the entirety of the early voting cycle--no switching shifts.

Election Official application If you are interested in becoming a Catawba County Poll Worker,
fill out the online application form or return a printed and completed Election Official Application (PDF)

You may call the Board of Elections office Mon-Fri 8am-5pm with questions or to apply over the phone. 828-464-2424