Nearly 3,000 Tennesseans have Answered the Secretary of State’s Call to Become Poll Officials

Monday, July 13, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Since the Secretary of State’s office launched a new statewide poll official recruitment campaign in June, thousands of Tennesseans have stepped up to serve in the August 6 State and Federal Primary and County General Election.

“I am encouraged by how many students and young adults have applied to serve as poll officials,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “A successful election would not be possible without these Tennesseans choosing to serve in their community.”

It’s not too late to apply. Many counties still need more Tennesseans to serve as poll officials.

Poll officials perform many critical tasks at polling sites. This includes greeting and processing voters, answering questions and explaining how to cast a ballot. Poll officials are also responsible for counting absentee by-mail votes.

“For months, county election commissions have been working and planning for a safe and secure election,” said Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins. “But they can’t put these plans into action without poll officials to be the eyes, ears, hands and feet on the ground at polling sites.”

Poll officials will be provided with personal protective equipment including masks, gloves, gowns and face shields. Poll officials will be required to wear a face covering and receive training on social distancing and other protective measures.

Poll officials are compensated for working during early voting, on Election Day, and attending any required training sessions.

Qualifications to be a poll official:

  • Be a registered voter if 18 or older
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Not be a candidate or close relative of a candidate
  • Be able to read and write in the English language

The following government employees can also serve as poll officials:

  • City, County or Metro employees, unless working directly under the supervision of an elected official on the ballot
  • State of Tennessee employee
  • Federal employees – consult your Human Resources department to ensure eligibility

Any Tennessee voter is eligible to apply, regardless of political affiliation.

Early voting starts this Friday, July 17, and runs Monday to Saturday until Saturday, August 1. Election Day is Thursday, August 6.

For more information and to sign up to become a poll official, visit