2018 Elections: discover the work of a poll worker and become a volunteer


The poll worker is a citizen that composes the voting and justification polling benches, participating in the inspection on elections day.  He is the one that receives the voters, collects the signatures or fingerprints and sees which voters are missing, wherein he is able to act even in the voting logistics.  The work of poll workers allows the voting to be conducted with tranquility.

They are summoned by the electoral judge according to the criteria defined in the law; they should have more than 18 years of age and be in a regular situation with the Electoral Justice. Any voter may be chosen to be a poll worker except candidates and their relatives, even if by affinity, until second degree, and its partner; members of political party directories, provided that they exercise an executive function; authorities, police officers and employees that occupy a position of trust in the Executive; employees from the electoral service; and voters younger than 18 years of age.  Amongst the functions that can be developed by the pool workers in an election day, we can highlight president of the voting and justification polling benches, 1st and 2nd poll worker, 1st and 2nd secretary and alternate.

Solely in the 2016 Municipal Elections, according to the Human Resource Secretariat of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), Thayanne Fonseca, the Electoral Justice has counted with the work of 1.9 million poll workers, of which about half was voluntary work. The number of poll workers that will act in 2018, however, has not yet been defined, since it is necessary to previously obtain the exact number of voters and the register of voters, which will only end on May 9.

Volunteer poll worker

To investigate the voter to perform this important role in the success of the elections, TSE has created a program Volunteer poll worker. The work of a volunteer pool worker, in the elections, is an opportunity that the voter has to exercise his citizenship and contribute directly to the Brazilian democratic process.  In the last general election dispute, in 2014, from the 2.4 million poll workers, 1.3 million were voluntary workers.

Those interested in participating can already subscribe themselves in the Electoral Justice’s program Volunteer Poll Worker.  For that, they must obey the requirements demanded by the Electoral Code (Law n. 4,737/1965). Those who are interested should subscribe themselves in the Electoral Registry of their cities, or fill in a register on the website of each TRE.

The nomination of poll workers will be made by the electoral judge until August 28, except the members of benches that will be installed in penal and admission establishments.  “The ideal is that the citizen, who desires to volunteer himself, makes his subscription until the final date for the electoral register on May 9, so that, in the selection moment, the Electoral Justice already has all his upgraded data,” Thayanne Fonseca explains.

The project Volunteer Poll Worker has the objective of encouraging the accession to the volunteering of electoral services in voting and justification polling benches. The Electoral Justice, considering the importance of the theme, carries out, since 2004, actions for that matter. The program is focused on the expansion of the Electoral Justice’s collaborators, in a conscious and spontaneous way.  Those who are interested can be undergraduates or not, and should be qualified and apt to satisfactorily perform his attributions in an election day.

For TSE, the function performed by the poll workers is considered to be of fundamental importance, once their work guarantees the normal functioning of the voting posts during the elections. The participation as volunteer poll worker, in an election, is an opportunity that many Brazilians have of getting involved directly with the democratic process of choosing the country’s representatives.

Benefits and rules

The service provided by the pool worker is not paid but gives people the right to have a meal allowance and two days of rest, in the public or private service, for each day of summoning.  It is also considered as a criterion for a tiebreaker in public tenders, provided that it is envisaged in the public notice.

In case the poll worker can not appear, he should send a justification to the responsible electoral judge up to five days after the summon.  If the impediments come up after this term, there will be tolerance, when the justification is proven.

For those who do not manifest themselves until the election day and do not appear in the scheduled date and time, the term to present a just cause to the electoral judge will be of 30 days. Otherwise, the poll worker will have to pay a fine.


So that the poll workers can perform their function with excellence, on the election day, the Electoral Justice offers a complete training. For this reason, if you are summoned or has volunteered to act as a poll worker, you will receive orientations from the Electoral Registries and will be able to do your training on-site or by distance.  Remain attentive to the date and place of the training indicated in the bulletin sent by the Electoral Justice.