Election judges play an important role in administering elections by ensuring the constitutional rights of voters are protected. Serving as an election judge is an opportunity to learn more about election processes and to provide a great service to the community. Below is some information that you may find helpful in deciding if you would like to serve.
2022 Election Dates
- Primary Election – Tuesday, August 9, 2022
- General Election – Tuesday, November 8, 2022
What does an Election Judge do?
Election judges are responsible for the administration of election procedures in each voting precinct on election day. Election judges are trained to handle all aspects of voting at the polling place. Serving as an election judge is a chance to learn about elections, and is a great service to the community.
What are some of the duties of Election Judges?
- To open and close the polls (judges work from 6:00 a.m. to about 9:00 p.m.)
- To be responsible for all election materials.
- To ensure only qualified voters are permitted to vote.
- To ensure all election laws are followed.
- To distribute ballots.
- To ensure voter privacy is maintained.
- To assist voters requesting assistance.
- To maintain order in the precinct throughout the day.
- To certify the precinct election results.
State law requires that party balance be maintained among judges in the precinct as there are specific tasks in the precinct that require representation from different political parties, i.e. curbside voting, emptying the ballot box, etc. For this reason, you will be required to disclose your party affiliation to the Election Administrator. This information will only be shared with the head judge in the precinct you will be working in. You do have the option of serving as a non-partisan judge; however, you maybe unable to complete some tasks in the precinct.
Who Is Eligible?
To be an Election Judge you must meet all of the following state and city qualifications:
State of Minnesota requirements:
- Must be at lease 18 years of age (student trainee judges may be 16-17 years of age).
- 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 (candidates cannot serve in a precinct where they are on the ballot)
- Not a spouse, parent, child or sibling of another election judge in the same precinct or of a candidate on the ballot
- Attend two hours of required training
City of Alexandria requirements:
- Strong understanding of and commitment to nonpartisanship
- Able to communicate clearly with voters
- Enjoy assisting and serving diverse populations
- Available to work long hours on Election Day (typically from 6 a.m. t0 9 p.m.)
- Handle stressful situations calmly and professionally
- Demonstrate attention to detail
- Work as a team member and follow directions
- Comfortable using technology (IPad or tablet)
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 or you can choose to volunteer. If you wish to volunteer, you will be required to submit a written statement no later than 10 days before the election to the Election Administrator. Election judges are paid for working on election day and for attending training classes. Pay is as follows: Election Judges – $16/hour, Head Election Judges – $20/hour, Health Care Facility Judges – $18/hour and Election Judge Trainees (students who are 16-17) – $12/hour.
Can I Take Time Off From Work?
According to Minnesota Statute 204B.195 your employer is required to give you time off from work to be an election judge without loss of pay. You must give your employer at least 20 days’ written notice and a certificate from the city that shows the hours the person will work and the rate of pay. The employer may deduct what the person receives for being an election judge from their salary for the hours that overlap.
You can voluntarily take a vacation day to be fully paid by your employer and receive the election judge salary you earn as extra income. An employer cannot force you to take vacation or any other form of paid leave.
You can give this memo (PDF) to your employer, explaining your right to receive time off to serve as an election judge.
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.