Duties of Election Judges
Election judges are responsible for the administration of election procedures in the voting place. Election judges help to guarantee that the rights of voters are protected on Election Day. Duties include:
- Opening and closing the polls (judges work from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm or later; however half-day shifts may be available)
- Being responsible for all election materials
- Ensuring only qualified voters are permitted to vote only once
- Distributing ballots
- Helping voters requiring assistance
- Maintaining order in the voting place throughout the day
- Registering new voters at the polling site
- Processing absentee ballots
- Obtaining the results after the polls are closed
- Certifying the precinct election results
Any person who resides in and is eligible to vote in the county where they serve is eligible to be an election judge. Judges are asked to state a political party preference. No more than half of the election judges in a precinct may be members of the same major political party.
- 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 should be prepared to provide identification to prove your identity.
- You must be affiliated with a major political party to complete some tasks and not stating a party may restrict your eligibility.
- You cannot be the husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister of a candidate or be domiciled (live with) a candidate, either permanently or temporarily.
- You cannot be related to another election judge in the same precinct.
- You cannot be a candidate for the election in which you are serving as a judge.
- You cannot be a judge unless you can read, write, and speak the English language understandably.
Selection of Judges
The governing body of the municipality or township appoints election judges for precincts in a municipality and townships.
Payment for Election Judge Services & Time Off Of Work
The pay varies according to precinct policy. Pay will be at least minimum wage. Like jury duty, Minnesota law allows you time off from work with full work pay if you give 20 days' prior notice to your employer.
Becoming an Election Judge
If you are interested in becoming an election judge, please fill out the Election Judge Application. Your local government clerk will call you for 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.
The Minnesota Secretary of State website has additional information on becoming an election judge.
Students aged 16-18 may be eligible to be an election judge trainee. To be an election judge trainee, a person must meet the following criteria;
- Be age 16 or older
- Be enrolled in a high school or be home-schooled in Minnesota
- Have the approval of a parent and school principal
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be able to read, write, and speak English