What is a Judge of Election?
Judges of Election are paid to work on Election Day to manage the precinct polling place, including preparing reports after the polls close. The job is challenging and personally rewarding.
Judges share responsibilities that include:
  (1) Arriving at 5 a.m. on Election Day to set up equipment to open on time;
  (2) Opening the polls at 6 a.m. on Election Day;
  (3) Issuing the correct ballots to each voter and otherwise helping voters with registration and other questions, from 6 a.m. through 7 p.m., including voters in line in the polling place by 7 p.m.
  (4) Completing results reports and other documents after the polls close.

Applying to Serve
Online and mail-in application forms will be available at this web page this summer.

Judge of Election Instructional Videos
   NOTE: These videos are supplied as reference materials. These videos are not a substitute for completing official training.
   Short Video 1: Setting Up All Voting Equipment

Requirements to Serve as a Judge of Election
Judges of Election must meet all of these requirements. Judges of Election must:
  - Be registered voters in Cook County (U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age);
  - Be able to speak, read and write English;
  - Be able to perform basic math;
  - Be of good understanding and capable;
  - Not be a committeeman, precinct captain or candidate and must agree not to serve as a judge if they become one;
  - Notify the Board of Elections if a person who shares his or her residence becomes a candidate, and must not serve as a judge in that election in any precinct where that candidate is on the ballot;
  - Be of good repute and character and not a registered sex offender anywhere in the United States and not have committed a crime that would require registering as a sex offender anywhere in the United States;
  - Agree that if the judge applicant is removed as an election judge due to misbehavior, neglect of duty or other cause, the person will not be paid for training or election day service;
  - Agree that if a person fails to perform all of the services required of a judge, the compensation may be reduced accordingly;
  - Agree that by law, the name, address and party affiliation are subject to public disclosure; and,
  - Agree that the Board of Elections may use any personal data provided in the Judge Application for the Board's internal operations.

Pay for Judges of Election
Payment amounts for Judges of Election will be posted to this web page this summer.

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 Judges of Election
The Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Chicago is proud to lead the United States in hiring and training high school and college students to serve as judges and many college-age students to provide technical support. Each citywide election in Chicago over the last decade has been administered with the help of thousands of student judges. Click here for general information on Student Judges of Election and applying to serve.