Election judges are essential to our democracy, and serving as an election judge is an excellent way to get involved in your community. Help your community get ready to vote by signing up to be an election judge!
As an election judge, you will learn to handle all aspects of voting at the polling place and help ensure that elections are administered in a fair manner. All election judges serve on a team. Each team is responsible for the administration of the election procedures in their assigned polling place on Election Day.
What Does an Election Judge Do?
Election judges are paid an hourly wage for training and polling place work. Typical duties include opening and closing the polls, registering and signing in voters, distribution and collection of ballots, operating voting equipment, and recording and certifying the vote totals at the end of the day.
You must attend a required training that will be roughly two hours in length. All judges will be paid for training, unless they choose to work as a volunteer. Head judges and technology judges will have additional required training. Training is available in-person and online. In-person classes will be held at East Bethel City Hall during business hours. Other locations may be available, as their schedule permits.
Work days for most judges are the primary and general elections. A typical schedule on Election Day is from 6:00 AM to around 9:00 PM. In some cases, you can ask to work a half-day.
Some judges may also apply to assist with processing Absentee Ballot voting at City Hall. This means working at City Hall each day that absentee voting is available.
Who Can Apply?
You must be eligible to vote in Minnesota and able to read, write and speak English. Students 16 and 17 years-old can be election judge trainees.
Preference is given to candidates who are able to work the entire election day and are willing to work in any precinct.
There are restrictions on having relatives serve together as election judges. A relative is defined as a spouse, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, or stepsibling.
Relatives cannot serve together in the same precinct at the same time. In addition, relatives of a candidate, and anyone who temporarily or permanently lives in the same house as a candidate, cannot serve in the precinct where the candidate is on the ballot.
Candidates cannot serve in a precinct where they are on the ballot.
Minnesota State Law allows time off from work without loss of wages to serve as an election judge, as long as you provide at least a 20-day notice to your employer.
Student Judges/Judge Trainees
16 and 17-year-old students can work as election judge trainees, receive training, and be paid for their work. It’s a great way to learn about elections and voting, and earn cash at the same time!
As a student judge, you cannot be asked to work past 10:00 PM. You will be assigned the same duties as other judges, with the exception of tasks requiring party affiliation. You will need to attend and complete the same training as other judges.
To qualify, you must be 16 or 17 on or before Election Day, be a U.S. citizen in good academic standing at a Minnesota high school (or home schooled), and get permission from your parents and your school.
In coordination with the Office of the Secretary of State and the Anoka County Elections Department, the City of East Bethel is taking precautions to ensure that election judges are safe when performing their duties. All election judges be will provided with masks or face shields and sanitizing supplies to maintain a hygienic work environment. Election judge training will be offered in an online format to avoid congregating in a large group setting. In addition to covering election judge roles and responsibilities, training will also address specific recommendations and guidance for working during the pandemic.