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.
Pay is $200 for those who complete training and then serve on Election Day.
Sign up to serve!
Apply online here
. The mail-in application is
.Training & Instructional Materials (Updated for Feb. 26 Municipal Election and April 2, 2019 Run-Off Elections)
Early Voting Handbook (from Nov. 2018 Election)
Requirements to Serve as a Judge of Election
Judges of Election must meet
of these requirements. Judges of Election
- 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.
Salary - $200 for judges who serve all of Election Day and who have completed training
Judges of Election are paid $140 for serving all of Election Day, plus $60 if they also have completed training.
Extra compensation is also 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 in the warehouse.
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 W-2 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 W-2 that will include income earned for election duties even if less than $600 annually. All individuals who may be eligible to receive a Form W-2 must complete and submit to the Board IRS Form W-4.
Click here for the IRS Form W-4
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.