Become an Election Judge!
How do I Become an Election Judge? Complete (Download, fill out, save) and return the Election Judge Application below.
How are the judges selected?
The governing bodies of townships and cities appoint election judges and many are always looking for qualified applicants.
Are election judges paid?
You can choose to volunteer or be paid. Wages vary by precinct.
Who are election judges?
Election judges are responsible for the administration of election procedures in the polling place. Election judges open and close the polls on election day. They help voters who need assistance, ensure only qualified voters are permitted to vote and certify precinct election results. Sometimes election judges are hired to process absentee and/or mail ballots with the Absentee Ballot Board.
At least two election judges in each precinct must serve with a different major political party designation (except in school district and township elections not held in conjunction with a statewide election, and for student trainee election judges). The remaining election judges in a precinct can serve without an affiliation to a major political party.
What are some duties of election judges?
- To open and close the polls (some precincts have judges work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. or later).
- To be responsible for all election materials.
- To ensure only qualified voters are permitted to vote only once.
- To distribute ballots.
- To help voters requiring assistance.
- To maintain order in the voting place throughout the day.
- To register new voters at the polling site.
- To process absentee ballots.
- To obtain the results after the polls are closed.
- To certify the precinct election results.
- You must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of Minnesota for at least 20 days and be a citizen of the United States.
- You may take time off from your regular job without penalty other than the reduction in wages for the time you are absent from your place of work serving as an election judge. A person selected to serve as an election judge must give twenty days written notice prior to the election to his or her employer. For more information, see Minnesota Statutes 204B.195.
- You can give this memo (PDF) to your employer, explaining your right to receive time off to serve as an election judge.
- You must be able to read, write and speak the English language to serve as an election judge.
- Candidates for office cannot be an election judge in a precinct where they appear on the ballot. This includes those who are actively campaigning as a write-in candidate.
- A person who is a relative of a candidate for office cannot serve in a precinct where that candidate is on the ballot. Relatives include a spouse, parent, child, stepchild, brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister.
- A person who temporarily or permanently lives in the same house as a candidate cannot serve in a precinct where that candidate is on the ballot.
- Election judges who are relatives to each other cannot serve together in the same precinct during the same shift. Relatives include a spouse, parent, child, stepchild, brother, sister, stepbrother or stepsister. Relatives can work separate, non-overlapping shifts in the same precinct.
- A challenger appointed by a political party to contest voter eligibility cannot serve as an election judge.
Code of Conduct
While serving, leave your own opinions at home. On Election Day, your job is to faithfully follow election laws, to the best of your ability. You must:
- Remain courteous and professional at all times.
- Refrain from partisan comments or discussions.
- Avoid any action that may influence how a person votes.
- Respect the secret ballot and the privacy of voters. Do not give advice, scrutinize ballots, or reveal how people voted. Never disclose personal information about voters found on the polling place roster (for example, a voter’s birth date).
How can I become an election judge?
Your local government clerk will contact you about training when your service is needed. Judges are trained and certified for two years. They may work at one or several elections during their term of service.