Election Inspector

Election Inspector


Haverstraw, NY

Female, 53

I was an inspector at the polls for the 2012 presidential election. It was our job to set up the polling place, verify voters' eligibility, and make sure all ballots were accounted for. Ask me anything.

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19 Questions


Last Answer on February 18, 2013

Best Rated

What are a few things you think people would be surprised to learn about being an election inspector?

Asked by MigBrown over 11 years ago

I think people would be surprised to learn that we work a 16 to 17 hour day. We start at 5:00 am and don't leave until well after the polls close. We are just there to make sure that no one cheats and everyone who can vote does and those who can't don't. I also think people would be surprised to know that we don't really care who you are voting for and by the time the polls close we just want to go home and sleep. I didn't even watch the news to see who won. I figured I'd hear the next day.

Do you think our voting system is antiquated?

Asked by luckysevens over 11 years ago

I don't think it is antiquated. Some of us were discussing whether or not we will ever be able to vote by smart phone, but who knows. With the advances in technology I think there would be more risk of voter fraud (hackers etc).

If they require that there must be a registered Democrat and Republican at each table, was there tension between you and whoever you were paired with?

Asked by m1guel over 11 years ago

No we all had a job to do and believe it or not if we actually got along well.

What exactly does an inspector "inspect" at an election poll?

Asked by Jean C. over 11 years ago

An election inspector checks the signatures of voters as they come in to the polling place, checks ID if needed. We also call the Board of Elections to check the voters eligibility to vote if there is a question and turn them away if necessary. We set up the polling place and take down all the signs at the end of the night. We log in all ballot numbers and make sure that all ballots are accounted for, even the mistakes and voided ones. We also accepted absentee ballots.

I'm of sound mind and eyesight, and yet still found the election ballots INCREDIBLY confusing. Do you and most poll employees agree that the election ballots are confusing?

Asked by Gumshoooo over 11 years ago

Yes, we did have trouble with the ballots and I found myself explaining it to most of the voters who came out. It may be because they are so new and different from what we are used to. I think people will adjust. We all just need to vote in the smaller (non-presidential) local elections so we can get used to it!

Did you do this on a volunteer basis, and what were the requirements to get the job?

Asked by Jean C. over 11 years ago

This was a paid position. The only requirement was that you were registered as either a Republican or a Democrat since there has to be at least 1 of each at every district table. They prefer to have 2 but 1 will do if they don't have enough workers. I was also required to take a 3 hour training class. FYI I live in New York.

If an unregistered voter arrives at the polls, can he register on the spot? If not, did any voters you dealt with (who THOUGHT they were registered) freak out when you told them they couldn't vote?

Asked by c borowitz over 11 years ago

A voter MUST register ahead of time. They must register at least 1 month before the election in my area. I had several people who thought they were registered. Some were able to go to the Board of Elections and see a judge who gave them a court order to vote and some who didn't get registered in time were turned away. People who moved and were not registered to vote in their district, but were registered under a previous address, were able to vote by affidavit, after I called the Board of Elections to confirm. Their votes were counted after the polls closed and the information was passed on to the board.