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Working as an election worker

Who can be an election worker?
If you are 18 years of age or older, you can apply to work for a Calgary Municipal and School Board General Election.  You do not have to be a Canadian citizen to apply. 

Are election workers paid?
Yes, election workers are paid. How much you’re paid depends on your position and the type of voting station you work in.

When is election day?
The next Calgary Municipal and School Board General Election is Monday, October 16, 2017.  Voting stations are open to the public at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. but election workers work longer hours.

What does the job require?
The City hires approximately 3,000 election workers (officially known as Deputy Returning Officers) with the majority working at community voting stations. During the day, election workers administer the voting process for the voter. After the close of voting all election workers must assist in counting ballots and cleaning up the voting station.

How do I apply?
Election worker applications are available beginning in July of an election year.  There are two ways to apply:

  • Download and complete the application at and bring it to the Elections and Census Office at 1103 55 Ave NE Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Every applicant must come to the office in-person.
  • Complete an application in-person Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Elections and Census Office at 1103 55 Ave NE.

What are the hours of work on election day?
Long hours are typical on election day. The day begins at 9 a.m. with election workers reporting in to assist with setup, and may not finish until after 11 p.m. Election workers cannot leave the voting station for any reason during the day; this includes meals, which you need to bring with you.

Which voting station will I be working at?
Every effort is made to place election workers as close as possible to where they live but this cannot be guaranteed.

What training will I receive?
Every election worker must attend a one to two hour training session during business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in September/October.  There is also a mandatory online training component that must be completed before attending the in-person session.

How will I be contacted to work?
Your application will be given directly to the Presiding Deputy Returning Officer (PDRO) of a voting station. If the PDRO requires your services, they will contact you to discuss and potentially offer you a position.

When might I expect a call?
If your services are required, a PDRO will contact you between mid-August and the end of September.

What do I need to know from the PDRO if contacted?
The PDRO will tell you the following:

  • Voting station location;
  • Position offered;
  • Time and date of your training session; and
  • How much you will be paid.