Should Poll Workers Get Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 2/10/2012

With presidential primaries and caucuses looming in many states, plans for the next election cycle are in full swing. Many polling locations are planned to be in schools and the city of Madison, WI has something to say about that. They want all poll workers, who will work in one of their city schools, to go through a background check before being allowed to work on Election Day.

Currently the city is looking into ways to get the background checks done, as well as the criteria that will be used in order to make a decision on who can work in a school and who cannot. The question has also been raised asking if all poll workers should be subject to a background check or just those working in schools. The city of Madison has over 2000 poll workers and over 200 of them are scheduled to work in schools throughout the city.

At this time, poll workers are not subject to any type of background check, though they are required to take an oath and attend a training course. If the city of Madison is going to get this enacted, they are running out of time. The primary in Wisconsin will take place on February 21st and the next election is April 3rd.  

It is important to note that the school districts plan to begin putting poll workers through background checks is not caused by any specific incident, it is only to get in line with school policies and procedures when it comes to employees and volunteers. Since poll workers will be in the school and will technically have access to children, it is important, according to the school, for these workers to go through the same process. The district also states that putting poll workers through background checks will bring a greater sense of safety in schools as well.

Organizations that are planning on doing large volume background checks may want to consider using a third party background check company like Not only can perform background checks quickly and easily, they can handle high volume business accounts. In addition to doing traditional background checks, they have several products available that will give companies an even better overview of employees and volunteers. One of these products is called the US Offender OneSEARCH which should always be done when someone will be working around children. Taking care to check the background of anyone who is in contact with children is the safest way to conduct business.

About - - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services.  Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit


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