Elections Canada logo
Inspire Democracy Logo Site menu
 

Why work at a federal election?

Help Canada’s democracy. When you work at a federal election, you have the chance to make voting more welcoming and accessible to your community. By being a friendly face at the polling station or Elections Canada office, you help other people feel comfortable and confident when they vote.

Meet new people. You’ll meet your co-workers and people in your community.

Learn new skills. You’ll get work experience and skills, which you can add to your resumé. You’ll also learn more about elections and how they work.

Get paid to do it! You get paid for working at a federal election as well as for attending the training session.

 

What if I don’t know much about elections?

That’s okay. We’ll train you!

Every election worker who works at a polling station gets three hours of in-person training. We explain your job clearly, so you’ll know exactly what you need to do. There are always people who are ready to help and support you.

You can find more information on working at an election on the Elections Canada's website.

Want to learn more about federal elections right now?
Check out the Library of Parliament site.

To the top ↑
 

Who can work at a federal election?

You can work at a federal election if:

  • you are a Canadian citizen (Canadian citizenship is not required to work at an Elections Canada office.)
  • you are at least 16 years old
  • you agree to be Keyword: impartial while you’re working at the federal election

Returning officers, who are responsible for elections in their ridings, hire all the election workers for their riding. They look for workers who have the skills for the job and who reflect the diversity of their community. This election, they are especially looking to hire:

  • youth
  • students
  • people who speak a language other than the common official language in their riding
  • First Nations people, Métis or Inuit
  • persons with disabilities
To the top ↑
 

What can I expect if I’m hired to work at a federal election?

There are many different types of Keyword: election worker, but no matter what your role is, you can expect:

  • to be paid for working at a federal election as well as for attending the training session
To the top ↑
 

Do I need to be a member of a political party?

No. In the past, political parties gave returning officers lists of potential election workers for their riding. Now, you don’t need to have any connections to a political party to work at an election. When you’re working as an election worker, however, you can’t participate in Keyword: partisan activities, whether you’re a member of a political party or not.

If you are a member of a political party, keep in mind that:

  • in the past, the returning officer had to wait for political parties to give them lists of potential election workers before they could start hiring. Now, returning officers can hire 50% of election workers before the political parties suggest names.
To the top ↑
 

What kinds of jobs are available?

Different jobs are available, depending on where and when you want to work. Take a look to see what’s right for you.

Elections Canada office:

  • There are 18 different roles.
  • Each job is about getting the election organized ahead of time so people can vote and register to vote.
  • Longer time commitment: Your job could start several weeks before election day.
  • The Elections Canada office will be open between 7.5 to 12 hours each day during the election.

Polling station:

  • There are five different roles.
  • Each job is about helping people vote or register to vote.
  • Shorter time commitment: Your job will take place on election day or the four advance polling days or both. Keyword: advance polling days start 10 days before election day.
  • The polling station is open between 12 hours on election day and 12 hours per day on advance polling days; but poll workers may work up to 14 hours during those days.

On-campus voting offices:

  • There are four different roles.
  • Each job is about helping people vote or register to vote.
  • Shorter time commitment. Your job starts 16 days before election day and lasts between five and 11 days. Some positions may last longer.
  • On-campus voting offices are open as follows:
    • Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

For more information on jobs, see our Information Guide and Mini Posters

To the top ↑
 

How do I apply?

It depends on where you want to work. Check the Employment section on the Elections Canada website.

Elections Canada offices: During the election, get in touch in person or by phone with the Elections Canada office where you want to work. Find the contact information for all Elections Canada offices, once the election has been called.

Polling stations: Apply online to work as a poll worker. You can also apply in person at your local Elections Canada once the election has been called.

On-campus voting offices: We’re still working on the application, but when it’s done, you can fill it out online.

To the top ↑