Precinct Officials

How to become a Precinct Election Official

Becoming a Precinct Election Official (PEO) is an enjoyable and rewarding way to be part of the election process. As a PEO, you will play a vital role in the democratic process. You can protect democracy, learn how elections work, and get paid in the process! The Carteret County Board of Elections always needs capable precinct election officials. If you have questions about become an election official, please call the Board of Elections office at (252) 728-8460 or send our staff an email.

Duties of a Precinct Election Official

Precinct officials perform many duties, including setting up supplies and voting equipment, assisting voters, verifying voter registration, issuing ballots and assisting curbside voters. Precinct officials receive compensation for working on Election Day and for attending all required pre-election meetings and training sessions.


  • You must live in Carteret County.
  • You must be a registered voter in Carteret County.
  • You must be able to read and write.
  • You must not be an elected official in any federal, state, or local government.
  • You must not be a candidate for nomination or election.
  • You must not hold any office in a political party of political organization.
  • You must not be a manager or a treasurer for any candidate or political party.
  • You must not serve at the same polling place as a spouse, child, spouse of a child, sister or brother.


  • You must provide your own transportation to and from the polling place.
  • You must be prepared to work all day on Election Day (6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or later).
  • You must be prepared to help set up supplies and equipment at the polling place the evening before the election.
  • You must attend all required training sessions.

Required Training

G.S. 163-46 requires all precinct officials to attend training sessions conducted by the Board of Elections prior to any election. The Chief Judge and Judges are issued a Precinct Official Manual notebook at the required training session. The training sessions cover specific issues related to the upcoming election. Precinct election officials are paid to attend these training sessions in addition to their Election Day compensation. Training sessions are conducted the month prior to each primary and general election. Precinct officials are notified by mail of the training dates.

Special Instructions

  • Wear comfortable clothing and dress in layers for optimum comfort to account for varying polling place temperatures.
  • Campaign buttons, political jewelry, and political slogan T-shirts are NOT permitted.
  • Discussion of politics is NOT permitted while working at the polls.
  • Arrange for enough food and drink for the entire day.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the voting enclosure or on the grounds of most polling places.
  • After arriving at the polling place, precinct officials are not permitted to leave until all supplies are packed after the polls are closed.

How Appointed

Precinct election officials can be recommended by the political parties and are appointed by the Board of Elections for a two-year term beginning in August of odd numbered years and every two years thereafter.

Each voting place is staffed with a CHIEF JUDGE, two JUDGES and some ASSISTANTS. The Board of Elections appoints the Chief Judge based on political party and staff recommendations. The Judges and Assistants represent each political party. Only one member of a family may serve as a precinct election official within a given precinct.

Chief Judge

The Chief Judge is the head precinct official and is in charge of contacting the polling place, custodian and the other officials to make arrangements for each election, The Chief Judge is also responsible for handling Election Day activities, as well as picking up and returning Election Day supplies before and after each election.


The Judges work closely with the Chief Judge and are responsible for conducting the election. They must sign all official documents and resolve any challenges. The Chief Judge assigns all other duties.

Help Desk

The Help Desk Official's sole responsibility is to manage the help desk responsibilities including, precinct transfers and provisional ballots. The most common scenarios are unreported moves, late voter registration applications and assisting voters with any questions they may have.


The Assistants serve when needed and at the discretion and direction of the Chief Judge.

Election Staff Assistants (ESA)

The ESA works closely with the Chief Judge and Board of Elections staff and are responsible for several precincts on Election Day. ESA's are required to follow a route truck on Monday prior to Election Day to ensure correct equipment is delivered and to deliver poll books. An ESA is the first contact for voting machine or tabulator problems on Election Day. ESA's are responsible for returning election night results to the central office for tabulation. Each ESA must be at precinct at the close of polls. Use of a reliable personal vehicle is required. ESA's must attend required poll worker training plus a required ESA specific training.

Service Schedule

There are generally four of five elections or primaries scheduled in each two-year appointment term of precinct officials. In addition to these predictable elections, special elections may be scheduled by the State or in some cases, local government.

  • Elections are always held on a Tuesday
  • Early voting runs from the third Thursday prior to Election up until the last Saturday before Election Day.
  • On Election Day, polling places are open from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm.
  • Officials must be in the voting place by 6:00 am and remain open until all votes have been counted and all documents signed (evening hours).

Ready to lend a hand?

Please complete the Precinct Election Official Application. If your services are needed, a county election official will contact you.

Filling out the application does not mean you will automatically be selected as an election worker. Judges are recommended by the two major political parties and appointed by their respective county board of elections. Assistants are recommended by political parties or recruited by the county board after completing an application.

Compensation for Officials
Official Compensation
Chief Judge $14.00/hour
Judge $13.50/hour
Assistant $13.00/hour
One-Stop (Early Voting) Worker $14.00/hour