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. 

Reference Videos
These videos are reference materials.These videos are not a substitute for the official training program.


Judge of Election Handbook
2023 Judge of Election Handbook
NOTE: These documents are reference materials, and are not a substitute for completing the official training. 

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.

Training Requirements for Judges of Election

All Election Judges are required to complete in-person training, per the Illinois Election Code.


Pay for Judges of Election
Election Judge pay will be $255 for each returning Judge who served and completed the online training prior to the November 8, 2022 General Election, will complete a refresher in-person training for 2023 and serves successfully on Election Day, $230 for new Judges who attend the in-person trainng class and serves successfully on Election Day or returning Judges that did not complete the online training priror to November 8, 2022, and $170 for each Judge who serves successfully on Election Day without attending the in-person training class. 

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
  312-269-7984

High School & College Student Judges of Election

Click here to apply to serve as a student judge of election at the February 28, 2023 Municipal Election.

 

Qualifications for HIGH SCHOOL Student Judges

In order to qualify as a student judge, an applicant must:
1. Live in Cook County;
2. Be a Junior or Senior;
3. Be a U.S. citizen;
4. Be able to read, write, and speak English;
5. Successfully complete the training program;
6. Be able to work on Election Day beginning at 5 a.m. until all duties are completed after the polls close;
7. Have the written approval of the student judge's parent or legal guardian; 
8. Have written approval from the student judge’s school principal;
9. Have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; and
10. Meet any other qualifications set by law.


Qualifications for COLLEGE Student Judges

In order to qualify as a student judge, an applicant must:
1. Attend a college or university in Cook County;
2. Be a U.S. citizen;
3. Be able to read, write, and speak English;
4. Successfully complete the training program;
5. Be able to work on Election Day beginning at 5 a.m. until all duties are completed after the polls close;
6. Have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; and
7. Meet any other qualifications set by law.

Instruction and Training

State election law requires Judges of Election to complete training, as well as receive extra compensation when serving on Election Day.