(a) The municipal governing body or a majority of them must, not less than 15 days before the holding of any municipal election, appoint from the qualified electors of the respective wards or voting districts officers to hold the election as follows: Where paper ballots are used, one returning officer for each ward and three inspectors and two clerks for each box at each voting place and, where voting machines are used, an inspector, a chief clerk, and a first and second assistant clerk for each voting machine; except that in the event voting centers or voting places are established, then the requirements of Section 11-46-24 shall control the number of election officials. In any Class 6, Class 7, or Class 8 municipality, election officials must reside within the municipality and may serve at any polling place within the municipality. An election official appointed to serve in a polling place other than where he or she would be required to vote based on residency, may vote by absentee ballot.
(b)(1) No officer or employee of the municipality shall be eligible to serve as an election official.
(2) No kindred of any candidate or his or her spouse to the second degree, according to the civil law, shall be eligible to serve as an election official.
(c) In every city having, according to the last or any subsequent federal decennial census, 10,000 or more inhabitants, the municipal governing body shall also appoint from the qualified electors of the city one inspector and at least three clerks, who shall meet on the day of the election at such place and hour as the municipal governing body may designate for the purpose of receiving, counting, and returning the absentee ballots cast at such election, and four days before the election the municipal governing body shall ascertain the number of absentee ballots which have been cast at the election and, if more than 600 absentee ballots have been cast, then such governing body shall appoint three more inspectors and two more clerks for each 600 absentee ballots or fraction thereof cast at such election.
(d) In every city or town having less than 10,000 inhabitants, according to the most recent federal decennial census, the municipal governing body may adopt an ordinance at least six months prior to the date of the election to provide that at the time other election officials are appointed, the governing body shall appoint additional election officials who shall meet on the day of the election at the place and hour as the municipal governing body may designate for the purpose of receiving, counting, and returning the absentee ballots cast at the election. The ordinance shall enumerate the election officials the governing body will appoint for this purpose, but the number shall not be less than three. This ordinance shall remain in effect until repealed by a subsequent ordinance adopted at least six months prior to an election. These absentee election officials shall be in addition to other election officials required by law and shall be appointed at the same time and in the same manner as are other election officials. When the election officials are appointed, one of them shall be designated by the municipal governing body as the inspector.
(e) In the event a person appointed as an election official is excused from serving or otherwise disqualifies himself or herself prior to election day, the vacancy created thereby shall be filled by the municipal governing body or a majority of them in the same manner that original appointments are made; provided, however, that if the vacancy is among the officers appointed to serve at a polling place where voting machines will be used, after the school of instruction for election officials has been held as prescribed in subsection (a) of Section 11-46-30, a person who has received a certificate from a previous school of instruction shall, if possible, be appointed to fill the vacancy.
(f) The mayor or other chief executive officer of the municipality shall publish a list of the election officers so appointed, either by posting a list thereof showing the voting places and the election officers appointed for each voting place at three public places in the city or town or by publishing a list in a newspaper published in the city or town at least 10 days prior to the election.
(g) The mayor or other chief executive officer of the municipality shall notify the inspectors, clerks, and returning officers of their appointment.
(h) The returning officers, the inspectors, and the clerks at polling places where voting is solely by paper ballots shall be entitled to such compensation as the municipal governing body establishes but which in no event shall be less than eight dollars ($8) per day, and each election officer at a polling place where elections are conducted in whole or in part by voting machines shall be entitled to such compensation as the municipal governing body establishes but which in no event shall be less than eight dollars ($8) per day. The compensation of the election officials shall be paid as preferred claims out of the general fund of the municipality holding the election on proper proof of service rendered.
Last modified: May 3, 2021