Have you ever considered becoming an election judge?
We encourage everyone, including high school and college students who fit the requirements to apply. This is an opportunity for you to earn some extra cash! (scroll down for details)
NOW is the time, stop listening to all the lip service being paid about cleaning up our elections and do something about it! The best suggestion we have is: become an Election Judge!
Judges share these responsibilities:
(1) Arrive at 5 a.m. on Election Day to set up equipment;
(2) Open the polls on time at 6 a.m. on Election Day;
(3) Issue the correct ballots to each voter and help voters with registration and other questions, from 6 a.m. through 7 p.m.
(4) Completing all reports after the polls close.
Requirements to Serve as a Judge of Election
Judges of Election must meet all of the requirements listed in the application, including being:
- a US citizen
- a registered voter in Cook County (if 18 or older)
- able to speak, read and write English
Training Requirements for Judges of Election
All Election Judges are required to complete training, per the Illinois Election Code. For the safety of Election Judges and staff, the Board is offering training online for the 2022 & 2023 General Elections. Election Judges who have been assigned to a precinct will receive notification via email when the online training is available.
Election Judge pay will be $230 for each Judge who completes the online training and serves successfully on Election Day.
$170 for each Judge who serves successfully on Election Day without completing the online training program.
$255 for each returning Judge who completed the online training prior to the April 4, 2023 Election, who completes the online training and serves successfully on Election Day.
Some background before you sign up...
What If I Had Already Signed Up for the 2022 primary election cycle?
If you are already signed up with the Chicago Board of Elections for the 2022 primary election in June, 2022, YOU MUST SIGN UP AGAIN, as the primary election was the end of the three-year commitment cycle. Working the November, 2022 General Election or the 2023 City elections are part of the new commitment.
Are you ready?! If so: click here for the judge application and notification portal!
These videos are reference materials.These videos are not a substitute for the official online training program, which will come to Election Judges via email.
Setting Up/Opening the Polls
Setting Up The Electronic Poll Book
Setting Up All Voting Equipment
Accessibility in the Polling Place
During Voting Hours
Checking in Voters
Activating A Voter’s Card
Closing the Polls
Shutting Down the Touchscreen
Closing The Polls on the Ballot Scanner & Transmitting the Results
Completing Form 80, Certificate of Results
Video of Classroom Instruction: 1st Hour of 4
Video of Classroom Instruction: 2nd Hour of 4
Video of Classroom Instruction: 3rd Hour of 4
Video of Classroom Instruction: 4th Hour of 4
Judge of Election Handbook
2023 Judge of Election Handbook (available from the Chicago Board of Elections)
NOTE: These documents are reference materials. These documents are not a substitute for completing the official online training. Official training links will come to Election Judges via email.
Extra Pay for Judges of Election
Payment is based on completion of training and service on Election Day. Extra compensation also is paid to judges who:
- Pick up the Election Judge key envelope the week before Election Day;
- Allow the use of the judge's cell phone (by all judges within the polling place) on Election Day;
- Return the election materials to a receiving station on election night (to be determined by all judges on Election Day.)
- Serve additional days in Vote By Mail ballot processing, nursing-home voting or in post-election counting activities at the Board's offices or warehouse.
Taxes and Withholding
Income earned by election judges and other election workers is subject to federal income tax; however, such income is not subject to income tax withholding. Those few election judges and election workers who earn $600 or more in any calendar year for multiple election assignments will receive an IRS Form 1099 at the end of the year. Election judges and election workers who also are employed by the City of Chicago or the County of Cook will receive a Form 1099 that will include income earned for election duties even if less than $600 annually. All individuals who may be eligible to receive a Form 1099 must complete an IRS Form W-9 and submit the completed W-9 to the Board.
Contact Information for Judges Department
Attention: Judges Department
Chicago Election Board
69 W Washington St., Suite 600
Chicago IL 60602-3006
High School & College Student Election Judges
Click here to apply to serve as a student judge of election at the April 4, 2023 Election.
Qualifications for HIGH SCHOOL Student Judges:
STUDENT Instruction and Training
State election law requires Judges of Election to complete the training program in order to receive extra compensation when serving on Election Day. An online training program is offered prior to Election Day. A student judge must satisfactorily complete the online courses in order to serve on Election Day.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners will equip Election Judges with facemasks, gloves, screen wipes and other disinfectant supplies.
Attention Election Attorneys
If you have completed the Chicago Election Board's online Judge of Election training curriculum in relation to the 2022 & 2023 elections, you may be eligible to receive MCLE credits for part of that training. Please check this page periodically for updates and further information.
The Chicago Poll Worker Connection is live!
The Chicago Poll Worker Connection allows Election Judges to apply online, see their assignment details and see training details. You can direct potential applicants to pollworker.chicagoelections.gov
Thank you again for considering to serve as an election judge on February 28, 2023 and April4, 2023. If you have ANY questions, please send them to [email protected] and we'll do our best to get back to you in a timely manner.
Serving as an election judge fulfills your civic duty AND is a civic honor, especially as a Republican in Chicago. Serving as a judge on election day opens up additional opportunities later on to serve as an Early Voting Official (even better pay), as well as serving as a judge AFTER the election, when the votes are being counted, determining if the mail-in ballots have valid signatures, voter intent, etc....
Please give it some serious consideration in the next few weeks. The application deadline is toward the end of March, however, the longer you wait, the less likely it is that the spot will be available in the ward and/or precinct you prefer to serve.
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