Clerk’s Office Seeks More Election Inspectors for March Primary

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Thursday, January 2, 2020, 8:00 am
Ken Sperber

Election inspectors Ken Sperber (left) and Val Thonger. (Photo by Raymond Holt)

The East Lansing City Clerk’s Office is looking to hire and train election inspectors for 17 precincts — including five on the campus of Michigan State University — to work during the March 10 primary election. That election will also include a ballot question on whether to authorize Council to sell a piece of public land to the MSU Federal Credit Union.

“As we are entering the 2020 election cycle, it is crucial that we hire enough qualified election inspectors to assist with conducting the upcoming elections,” said City Clerk Jennifer Shuster. “Election inspectors play an important role in assisting with the voting process and ensuring the right to vote for all registered voters. They are a vital part of democracy in action and are greatly appreciated for their service.”

To qualify as an election inspector you must be registered to vote in Michigan or a student, age 16 or 17. “Election inspectors do not need to be registered East Lansing voters to work an East Lansing election,” Shuster said.

Election inspectors begin work before the polls open and finish after the polls are closed. The City needs election inspectors who can work the full day from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., as well as election inspectors who can commit to working half-day shifts (either 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or 2-10 p.m.) Inspectors must also attend a mandatory certification class (with pay) before Election Day.

“We encourage any eligible individual with an interest to consider applying to be an election inspector, including high school and college students looking to gain experience and learn about the latest voting technology,” said Shuster. “This is a wonderful way to meet great people, provide community service and earn a little extra cash.”

Important role in our democracy

Election inspectors provide an important role in our democracy, supporting the right to vote. Having served as an election inspector, I can say it is a gratifying way to be involved in our community and participate in civic service. Precinct election workers are paid $10 per hour; precinct chairs and co-chairs receive $12 per hour. All election inspectors are paid for one, three-hour required training session at $10 per hour.

Election inspectors should be detail-oriented, friendly and able to work either a full 16-hour day, or work a half-day shift of about 8 hours.

If you are interested in becoming an East Lansing Election Inspector you can complete the online application available at: Or, you may stop by the City Clerk’s office during regular business hours to fill out an application in person.

According to the clerk’s office, “Individuals who have previously worked as an election inspector or chairperson during an East Lansing election do not need to re-apply, but they are asked to email if they would like to sign up again.” © 2013-2020 East Lansing Info