Serve as an Election Judge
Serving as an Election Judge is a great service to our community and essential to our democracy. Election Judges are officials that staff the local polling places, administer election procedures, and ensure that the rights of voters are protected on Election Day.
Duties of an Election Judge
- Set up the polling place
- Operate voting equipment
- Direct voters to the correct line
- Register individuals to vote
- Ensure all qualified voters are permitted to vote
- Demonstrate how to vote
- Distribute ballots to voters
- Assist voters
- Close down polling place following voting
- Determine results after polls close
- Certify the polling place results
Election Judges are required to take training provided by the county.
Required Qualifications to be an Election Judge
- You must be eligible to vote in Minnesota
- You must be able to read, write, and speak English
- You cannot be a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of any election judge serving in the same precinct, unless serving on separate shifts.
- You cannot be a candidate or the spouse, parent, child, stepchild or sibling of an candidate on the ballot in that precinct
Becoming an Election Judge
- Complete the election judge interest form (available from the MN Secretary of State) and mail it to your municipal clerk.
- Attend your political party's precinct caucus and request to be on a list of volunteers to be an election judge.
The township or city clerk will appoint election judges at least 25 days before an election. If appointed, you must complete the required training conducted by the Isanti County Auditor-Treasurer.
Time Off From Employment to Serve
Your employer is required to give you time off from work to be an election judge without a reduction in pay. To qualify, you must:
- Notify your employer in writing at least 20 days in advance of Election Day.
- Attach a copy of your schedule and pay rate form to your written notice. The schedule and pay rate will be provided by the jurisdiction that hires you as an election judge.
"Without a reduction in pay" means you get to earn at least the same amount you would have, had you gone to work that day. In practice, this means your employer can ask you to turn over the amount you earn as an election judge during hours you would have normally been scheduled to work, or your employer can deduct that amount from your normal pay.
You can voluntarily take a vacation day to be fully paid by your employer and receive the judge salary you earn as extra income. An employer cannot force you to take vacation or any other form of paid leave.
- College students at least 18-years old may serve as election judges.
- High school students 16 to years or older may service as student judge trainee. View requirements to be a Student Judge Trainee.