– Become a Precinct Election Official (PEO)


WHEN are you needed?

Every year for a Primary Election in either early March (for Presidential primaries) or early May and a General Election in November.  Special elections can and may be held in August.  Hours worked are approximately 6:00 a.m. until work is completed at end of day (polls close at 7:30 p.m.).  Election days are the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

WHY are you needed?

Approximately 150 Precinct Election Officials (PEOs) are needed to conduct a countywide election in Ottawa County.  The state of Ohio strives to maintain a national reputation for conducting honest and well organized elections.  We need you to help sustain this tradition.

YES, YOU can be a Precinct Election Official (PEO), if you…

  • are a registered voter in Ottawa County (see requirements for being a registered voter on the ‘Voters‘ tab‘ under the General Information’ page )
  • are willing to attend paid training sessions
  • are “people-oriented” and enjoy serving the public & your party
  • enjoy smorgasbords of home cooking & good food!

WHAT will you do?

  • Report for work by 6:00 A.M. on Election Day
  • Prepare your precinct for voting
  • Process voters (help them sign in and distribute the ballots)
  • Assist voters as needed
  • Close the precinct
  • Return ballots & other voting items to BOE office

Voting Location Manager (VLM) (formerly known as Presiding Judge) picks up ballots/supplies the evening before Election Day; and returns ballots/supplies to the BOE office at the close of Election Day, along with a Precinct Election Official (PEO), not of the same political party.

WHAT TRAINING is required?

Attend instruction class(es) once every three years minimum or more frequently (as mandated by law).  Classes are scheduled 30 days before each primary/special and each general election.  Ottawa County’s past practice has been to train for every election.

When new equipment, new laws, and new procedures are implemented, training may be more often.  You are paid for every class you attend.

Online training (optional & in addition to in-person training) may be offered through the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.  This does not take the place of in-person training. Zoom classes have been implemented for recent elections due to covid. That option may or may not continue for future elections, determined by the Ohio Secretary of State.

You will work in polling locations that have been fully inspected and comply with all requirements as directed by the Ohio Secretary of State.  These locations include public schools, churches, township halls, fire stations, and other public buildings.  You can choose to work in polling locations throughout the entire county, at either end of the county (west or east), or only in your precinct.

HOW MUCH will you be paid?     

  • $15.00 per training class held within 30 days prior to the election
  • $125.00 for working as a PEO on Election Day
  • $10.00 extra for PEO (not the same party of the VLM) who rides along with the VLM on election night to the BOE office to return ballots & supplies
  • $30.00 extra for VLMs to pick up and deliver supplies and ballots
  • VLMs are also paid mileage from their polling location to BOE on Election Day evening

HOW do YOU become a Precinct Election Official (PEO)?

If you are interested in being a PEO or have questions about working the polls, call the Ottawa County Board of Elections office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 419/898-3071 or by email: [email protected].

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