If you are interested in serving your community, meeting your neighbors and helping ensure that the voting process goes smoothly and honestly, you should look into being an election judge.
Serving as an election judge is an opportunity to give something back to the community. Your service will be appreciated and you’ll have a great time!
What Are Election Judges?
Election judges are responsible for the administration of election procedures in each voting precinct on election day. Election judges help guarantee that the rights of voters are protected on election day and are vital to efficient and honest elections.
Some of the duties of election judges are:
- Open and close polls
- Register and sign in voters
- Distribute and collect ballots
- Help voters who require assistance
- Record and certify vote totals
Who Is Eligible?
If you meet the following criteria you are eligible to be an election judge:
- Eligible to vote within the State of Minnesota
- Able to read, write and speak English
- Declare your party affiliation (State law requires this to make sure that no more than half of the election judges at a polling place are from any one party.)
- Not a candidate in the election
- Not a spouse, parent, child or sibling of another election judge in the same precinct
- Trained and currently certified as an election judge
A commitment to serve both of the dates of the primary and general election is important.
Are Election Judges Paid?
Yes, election judges are paid an hourly wage. Election judges are paid for working on election day and for attending training classes.
Can I Take Time Off From Work?
Minnesota Statute 204B.195 allows individuals to take time off from work, without penalty or loss of wages, to serve as an election judge on election day(s).
A 20-day written notice requesting to be absent from work for this purpose must be submitted to the employer. The employer may reduce the salary of the employee by the amount received from working as an election judge for hours the employee would normally work. The statute makes this decision optional for the employer.
How Are Election Judges Selected?
Appointments are recommended by the Election Administrator, depending on the needs for each election, and they are approved by the City Council.
Eligible registered voters who wish to serve as an election judge initially sign up to do so at their perspective caucus’ which list is forwarded onto the Secretary of State, Minnesota. This list is then forwarded onto the County Auditor’s office and then to the City Clerk’s Office in each county and city of Minnesota. This list will be exhausted first, once that is accomplished, Minnesota Clerks may then research other candidates.
How Are Election Judges Trained?
Election Judges are required to attend a two-hour training class, and head judges are required to attend an additional training class. Several classes are held by the Douglas County Auditor’s office, both in the evening and during the day for your convenience. You will be provided with additional information prior to the training.