What do you actually do on Sundays? Do you sleep in, have a good breakfast and then, depending on the weather, go out into the countryside or stay at home? At least on election Sundays you can also do something completely different. You can actively participate in the elections as an election worker and thus make an important contribution to our democracy!
On election day, poll workers are employed as members of the election committees or as assistants in conducting the election either in the polling station or in the counting of the absentee ballot. Their tasks include, for example:
- Checking the eligibility to vote on the basis of the electoral roll
- Issuing the ballot papers
- Release of the ballot box for the insertion of the ballot paper
- Assistance with the determination of the election result
Election assistants must exercise their office impartially (e.g. they are not allowed to wear any sign indicating their own political conviction) and are obliged to secrecy about the matters which have become known to them during their official activity.
For the exercise of this honorary office an expense allowance is paid. This amounts to 60-70€ for the federal election, depending on the position in the election committee.
And what is with Corona?
The health of the election worker:inside and voter:inside has naturally highest priority.
During the election there is a hygiene concept for the polling stations as well as for the central counting of the postal votes. Among other things, this provides for the already known measures such as distance, mask obligation and regular hand disinfection, but also a one-way rule in the polling station, spit shields and disposable pens should minimize the risk of infection. In addition, care was taken to select polling stations that are large enough to ensure the necessary distance.
Election workers must themselves be eligible to vote in the election in question. For the Bundestag election, this means that you have reached the age of 18, are a German citizen and have been resident in Germany for at least three months.
To become active as an election worker, you do not need any previous experience. Depending on the position within the election committee, training is offered to prepare the election workers for their work.
The activity as an election worker is voluntary and obligatory. It may be rejected only for important reasons.
What is recognized as an important reason, decides in principle the election authority. The existence of an important reason must be proven.
Note: On the basis of a law or collective agreement, there may be a right to time off work or special leave for an activity as an election worker.