What are some accommodations for poll workers?

What are the positions at a polling place?

There are four different positions that help conduct elections at a polling place.

  1. A poll worker, or election inspector, is someone who conducts duties at a polling place on Election Day. The poll worker can issue ballots to registered voters, registering voters, monitor the voting equipment, explain how to mark the ballot or use the voting equipment, and count votes. There are typically 3 to 7 election inspectors at a polling place with 1 chief inspector. There must always be an odd number of election inspectors.
  2. Each polling place is allowed up to one greeter. The greeter assists with answering questions and directing voters to the voting area. A greeter may become an election inspector on election day if there is an even number of poll workers to maintain an odd number.
  3. The municipal clerk or board of election commissioners may assign an election registration official (ERO) to a polling place to register voters. EROs do not count toward the number of election inspectors at a polling place.
  4. Lastly, the governing body or board of election commissioners of a municipality may pass a resolution to employ tabulators in an election. Tabulators assist at the polling place after it closes.

What are the essential functions of becoming a poll worker?

Under Wis. Stat. s. 7.30(2), election inspectors must be able to read and write the English language, be capable, and be of good understanding. However, there are many different duties that an individual can conduct at the polling place that do not require the ability to read or write the English language. These could include being a greeter, monitoring the voting equipment, or issuing ballots to registered voters.

How do I get an accommodation to become a poll worker?

Under ADA, all poll workers, including greeters and tabulators, are entitled to receive a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job if the accommodation does not create an undue hardship to the employer.  Therefore, many municipalities may be able to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals to become a poll worker. However, not every position may be able to be performed by every individual, so a reasonable accommodation could be reassignment to a different position.

To get a reasonable accommodation, contact your municipal clerk. You may also contact the Wisconsin Elections Commission with any questions.

What are examples of accommodations that are generally reasonable at a polling place?

  • Assignment to be a greeter.
  • Assignment to a specific task.
  • Providing a translator.
  • Providing an aid to assist with assigned tasks.
  • Providing extra breaks.
  • Allowing flexible work hours.
  • Providing equipment to improve accessibility, such as a chair or magnifying glass.

 

An accommodation would not be reasonable if the individual is unable to perform the essential functions of the job or if the accommodation causes undue hardship for the municipality. These determinations are decided by each municipality, but the Wisconsin Elections Commission can work with a clerk to identify accommodation options or eliminate barriers to providing an accommodation.