What is a Judge of Election?
Judges of Election are paid to manage the precinct polling place and assist voters. The job is challenging and rewarding.
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.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners will equip Election Judges with facemasks, gloves, screen wipes and other disinfectant supplies. Each precinct also will have a plexiglass shield to protect the Election Judges who check in voters.
Attention Election AttorneysIf you completed the Chicago Election Board's online Judge of Election training curriculum between Oct. 1, 2020 and Nov. 3, 2020, you may be eligible to receive MCLE credits for that training. Please use this link for the MCLE Attendance Certification portal. There, you must enter the required information on or before Friday, November 27, 2020, in order to qualify for 0.75 hours of MCLE general credits from your completion of the Chicago Election Judge training curriculum. You are eligible for these CLE credits only if you completed the Board's new online curriculum between Oct. 1, 2020 and Nov. 3, 2020.
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
Please refer to the application for the full list of requirements and qualifications.
Pay for Judges of Election
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.
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.