Precinct Workers

Election Official Information Page

This page is designed for Catawba County Election Officials. Please bookmark this page as there is no direct link from our main page.

Current List of Appointed Judges Judges were appointed by the Catawba County Board of Elections on Aug 17, 2021.

Those appointed as Judges no longer wishing to serve their 2-year commitment are required to send the Board a letter of resignation. More information

Chief Judge Precinct Checklist

2021-2022 Catawba County Poll Worker Calendar

2021 - Municipal and City School Board Elections

Only 22 precincts* will be open

  • The Board will appointed precinct judges on August 17. Judges will receive an official letter about their two-year appointment. Precinct Assistants will be assigned later and notified as needed.
  • Precinct Worker Training will be scheduled in September.
  • City of Hickory and Town of Long View elections will not occur in 2021 because of the delay in the US Census. They will be held 2022. Note: Hickory School Board Elections WILL take place (Wards 1, 2, 3, 5).
  • Hickory Primary - No Hickory Primary
  • Municipal Elections - November 2, 2021
    • Municipal One-Stop (Newton Library ONLY): Oct 14 - Oct 30

* Several precincts will host voters from other precincts. Because of a small number of eligible voters for this election, voters from Precincts 9, 12, 21, 23, 27, 28, 33, and 35 will receive letters directing them to alternate polling locations for this election only.

2022 - Federal, State, Judicial, County and County School Elections

All 40 Precincts will be open

  • Primary- May 17, 2022
  • If needed, Second Primary - July 5 or July 26 (The runoff will be the later date if a federal race is involved)
  • General Election - November 8, 2022

List of Precinct Polling Locations

The Board of Elections relies on civic-minded registered voters from all 40 precincts to become trained Precinct Officials. Anywhere from 150 to 300 workers are needed for an election.

Selection Process

During the summer of odd-numbered years, both local Democratic and Republican parties submit names of potential workers they wish to be considered for Judge assignment for the precinct of which they live. Using this suggested assignment list, the Board finalizes the Judge assignment for all precincts. Both Catawba County parties allow for the use of Unaffiliated poll workers for Judge positions, if necessary. The Chief Judge is traditionally of the same party as the Governor of North Carolina. By law, Judge appointments are made official by the Board on the "Tuesday following the third Monday in August of odd-numbered years."

Before each election, the BOE supplements the Judges with Assistants. The BOE must consider each worker's registered party when making assignment (attempting to maintain a balance of Dem and Rep representation in each precinct). Assistants may be of any party affiliation (Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian), and may even be Unaffiliated voters.

Two-year Commitment

The 3 Judges in each precinct are appointed for 2 years; each individual should consider that fact before accepting the appointment.

Odd-numbered year (1-2 elections):

  • 1 Municipal and City School Board election in November
  • [POSSIBLY] 1 Hickory Primary in October - only the Hickory precincts involved will be open

Even-numbered year (2-3 elections):

  • 1 Primary in March (or possibly May if moved by legislative order)
  • [POSSIBLY] 1 Second Primary (the runoff is generally held less than 2 months after the 1st primary)
  • 1 General Election in November

All 40 polling locations are open during county-wide elections. Normally, only 29 of those sites are open for Municipal elections. The number of workers needed for each precinct varies as some locations require more workers than others to handle the anticipated voter turnout. The larger precincts have over 4,000 registered voters while the smallest has around 600 voters.


Poll Workers must be (by law):

  • at least 18-years-old
  • a registered voter in Catawba County
  • able to read and write
  • of good moral character

Workers should also:

  • interact with the public while exhibiting friendliness, fairness, patience, and empathy
  • be able to communicate with the voters by hearing them state their name and address, and verbally instructing them on how to mark their ballot (in a possibly noisy environment)
  • work well with others in a team environment
  • be proficient in data entry (good keyboard skills) maintaining detail and accuracy using laptops and printers
  • be comfortable in learning and working with technology such as handheld scanners, ballot tabulators, and handicapped accessible devices
  • adhere to rules and processes as prescribed by the BOE office in completing voting forms and precinct management
  • have dependable transportation (must be at the polling location by 6am)
  • attend a training class before each election
  • assist in setting up the polling location on the Monday before the election
  • be able to stay at the election-day polling site for a minimum of 14 hours without leaving

Duties of Precinct Officials

Judges and Assistants are trained equally in processing voters and may be assigned to any of the duties required throughout the day. However, Judges are responsible for conducting election-day challenges (if so needed) and for signing documentation at the end of the day. Additionally, the Chief Judge, is responsible for conveyance of precinct equipment and supplies (including ballots) to and from the Board of Elections office and the polling site. Precinct Officials are required by law to stay at the polling location the entire day in the presence of one another--workers cannot leave for lunch or to carry out errands, etc. If a worker must leave because of an emergency, for example, by law they may not return.


By law, Precinct Officials must be paid (many people think it's a volunteer position). Election day workers receive a flat fee (see amounts under each position type below). This pay is for working election day (~14 hrs), setting up the site on Monday (~1 hr), and for the mandatory training before the election (~3 hrs).

Chief Judge - $275

Chief Judges are appointed for a 2-year term.
The Chief Judge has primary responsibility for the elections process within their assigned precinct. 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 (required by law before each election)
  • before the election, contacting the polling site to make arrangements for setting up on Monday and opening 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 panel to resolve any election-day challenges
  • securing the building
  • returning the supplies and voted ballots back to the BOE office.

Judge - $200

Judges are appointed for a 2-year term.
The Judges at each precinct are responsible for working closely with the Chief Judge to ensure a successful Election.

Duties include:

  • attending a 2-3 hour training class in the months leading up to each election (required by law before 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 are placed at precincts on an as-needed basis.
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 (required by law before 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.

One-Stop Official - hourly pay

One-Stop Officials are assigned on an as-needed basis from workers trained and working at the polls on Election Day.
One Stop Early Voting sites are set up at various locations around the county. Normally 5 locations are open during county-wide elections and 1 or 2 locations for municipal elections.

Election Day officials may be recruited to work as One-Stop Early Voting workers. During One-Stop, workers are paid hourly. Depending on the type of election, the officials may work in shifts or may leave the site for lunch, if working a full day. In addition to the training received as election-day officials, there is a 2-hour training before the One-Stop opens.

Each site is managed by a One-Stop Supervisor.


  • must serve at all Primary, General and Special elections during the two-year term of appointment
  • If resigning appointment, a Letter of Resignation must be signed and sent to the Board of Elections


  • are utilized to supplement the Judges and chosen at the discretion of the Board of Elections on an election by election basis. The number of Assistants in each precinct depends upon the number of eligible voters in that precinct for each election.
  • Assistants are not appointed; thus, they are not required to "resign" if no longer wishing to work (but as a courtesy, please let the BOE office know you are no longer interested).

All Election Officials (Judges and Assistants):

  • must attend mandatory training sessions for each election worked
  • must take an Oath of Office
  • must inform the Board of Elections if a near-relative will be a candidate during an election in which the official is scheduled to serve
  • must inform the Board of Elections if a near-relative is assigned to the same precinct
  • must inform the Board of Elections if unable to serve on Election Day (due to emergency, health issues, or a move from the county)

Near Relative: parent, sister, brother, child, spouse, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, step-child, stepparent, and legal guardian

Required Documentation for Employment


New workers (and previous workers that have not worked for Catawba County in the past 4 years

As a precinct official, NC State Law requires that you are paid for your service. In order for you to be added to the county’s payroll as a temporary employee, we require the following:

  1. Copy of NCDL & Social Security Card - New workers should bring a copy of your NC drivers license and your social security card (or your valid Passport). If you are unable to easily copy them yourself, we can make copies of your originals.
  2. I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification - Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States
  3. Health Insurance Marketplace Notification - Required to be shared with you by federal law. You initial this form indicating that you were provided this information.

Note: It would be helpful if you had the above forms completed when you arrive for class. If you do not have access to a printer, the blank forms will be provided before training begins.


All Poll Workers must complete the following once during each 2-year election cycle (a cycle starts each odd-numbered year)

  • Employee Data Sheet - Information required by Catawba County’s Human Resources Department for employment.
  • Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement - Birthdates and certain other information about individuals are protected information. You must agree not to share voter information or personally use the data that you have access to during the election.
  • Oath of Office - You will be given the oath during training class. This form also asks for Emergency Contact information.

Employment Forms

  1. I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification
  2. Health Insurance Marketplace Notification
  3. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement
  4. Oath of Office
  5. Employee Data Sheet

Multi-partisan Assistance Teams

In every county, an impartial team called a “Multi-partisan Assistance Team” is available to visit facilities such as nursing homes in order to provide assistance with mail-in absentee voting.

A Multi-partisan Assistance Team, or “MAT,” is a group of persons who has been appointed by the local County Board of Elections office to provide assistance with mail-in absentee voting to voters living at facilities such as nursing homes. The makeup of the Team includes, at minimum, persons whose voter registration is affiliated with two different political parties (or, in the alternative, persons who were unanimously appointed by a bipartisan County Board of Elections). The MAT's job is to help you vote, but your voting choices will remain confidential. It is the up to the facilities to request visits from a MAT to assist their residents.

More information via NC SBE - Multi-partisan Assistance Teams.

Training is conducted in Catawba County during the spring/summer of odd-numbered years, or as needed. Participation in training is by invitation. If you are interested for future trainings, let us know.

Forms and Downloadable Information for Catawba County Team Members

Equipment Videos

Resignation of Judge Appointment

If you have been appointed by the Board of Elections as a Judge and no longer wish to work during the current two-year appointment, you are required to submit your resignation in writing. Please do this as soon as possible in order to give the office time to find a replacement. Precinct Assistants are utilized on an "as needed" basis and do not need to do this.

Resignation Letter [PDF]


  • Feb 23, 2022 - Courts accept reveised NC House and NC Senate maps--appeals to this decision were denied. The Legislature-submitted US Congressional map was denied; an "Interim" Congressional map (drawn by an outside independent source) will be used for 2022. Filing will resume Feb 24th and the 2022 Primary will be held May 17th.
  • Jan 11, 2022 - A decision was handed down by the courts stating the maps were acceptable (appeals were filed). Filing will resume on Feb 24 and end Mar 4.
  • Dec 8, 2021 - The validity of the new maps were challenged in the courts. On Dec 8, NC Supreme Court halted Candidate Filing (which began Dec 6) and moved the March Primary to May 17th.
  • Nov 2021 - Lines were redrawn for US Senate, NC House, and NC Senate. Locally, Ward lines were redrawn for Town of Long View and City of Hickory.
  • Aug 2021 - with the increase of COVID cases, seating for the 2021 election training classes are limited to 16 participants at a time (as was the case for the Nov 2020 election training).
  • 2020 US Census Delay- Because of the delay in census, City of Hickory and Town of Long View elections will not be held in 2021--they will be held in 2022.
  • NC has gained a congressional seat. Lines should be drawn adding a 14th seat by November 2021 to ensure a March 2022 Primary date--if not, the primary may be delayed.
  • Voter Photo ID - Photo ID is NOT required for elections in 2021 and 2022.
  • 2020 Precinct Line Changes. After the 2020 Primary Election, changes were made to precinct lines to even out the number of voters in several precincts, lessen the distance to a polling site for most voters, and to bring one polling location within the precinct boundary. Changes were made to the following:
    • Pct 33-Springs: properties in the City of Hickory and many of their neighboring properties are now in Pct 29. There were over 6,000 voters in Pct 33; it is now down to 4,300 total voters.
    • Pct 29-St.Stephens 2: received voters from Pct 33. Total Precinct Voters: 4,261
    • Pct 25-N Newton: received a few voters from Pct 40 along St.Paul's Ch Rd that were in Newton city limits. Total Precinct Voters: 2,027
    • Pct 34-Startown: properties in the City of Hickory and many of their neighboring properties are now in Pct 35. Total Precinct Voters: 4,113
    • Pct 40-W Newton: properties in the City of Hickory and several of their neighboring properties are now in Pct 35. Total Precinct Voters: 1,481
    • Pct 35-Sweetwater: received voters from Pct 34 and Pct 40. Total Precinct Voters: 3,016
    • Pct 26-Oakland Heights: The precinct line now follows Clement Blvd to the Burke Co line and all points north. Sections of Pct 13-Greenmont and Pct 17- Long View N were changed. No voters were affected. The purpose for this redraw was to bring Resurrection International Church (Pct 26's polling location) within the boundary of the precinct lines.


This page is designed to keep you informed on the election happenings in Catawba County. If you have ideas of how it can better serve you as a Precinct Worker, please let us know. Email: