Becoming an Election Judge
Election judges play an important role in administering elections by ensuring the constitutional rights of voters are protected. Serving as an election judge is an opportunity to learn more about election processes and to provide a great service to the community.
This page provides some information that you may find helpful in deciding if you would like to serve.
To be an election judge you must meet all of the following State and City qualifications.
- You must be at least 18 years of age (student trainee judges may be 16 to 17 years of age).
- You must be eligible to vote in Minnesota.
- You must be able to read, write, and speak English.
- You cannot be a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of any election judge serving in the same precinct at the same time.
- You cannot be a candidate or the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of a candidate on the ballot in that precinct.
- You do not need to live in the precinct where you work as an Election Judge.
City of Carver Qualifications
- Communicate clearly with voters
- Comfortable with serving a diverse population
- Physical stamina
- Function calmly and professionally in stressful situations
- Remain impartial in conduct and speech
- Work as a team member and in support of the Precinct Head Judge
Responsibilities & Duties
- Attend two hours of required training.
- Protect the rights of voters.
- Administer election procedures according to training.
- Maintain neutrality and impartiality in the polling place.
- Open and/or close the polls.
- Check in registered voters.
- Responsible for election materials and documents.
- Distribute ballots.
- Register new voters.
- Help voters requiring assistance.
- Possibly set up/take down election equipment.
- Help compile the summary statements of the election results.
- Help certify the precinct election results.
Right to Time Off from Work to Serve
Your employer is required to give you time off from work to be an election judge without a reduction in pay. To qualify, you must:
- Notify your employer in writing at least 20 days in advance of Election Day.
- Attach a copy of your schedule and pay rate form to your written notice. The schedule and pay rate will be provided by the jurisdiction that hires you as an election judge.
"Without a reduction in pay" means you get to earn at least the same amount you would have, had you gone to work that day. In practice, this means your employer can ask you to turn over the amount you earn as an election judge during hours you would have normally been scheduled to work, or your employer can deduct that amount from your normal pay. You can voluntarily take a vacation day to be fully paid by your employer and receive the judge salary you earn as extra income. An employer cannot force you to take vacation or any other form of paid leave.
You can give this Letter to Employer Memo (PDF) to your employer, explaining your right to receive time off to serve as an election judge.
2020 Election Dates - Remaining as of November 2020
- General Election - November 3, 2020
All Elections: 6 am to approximately 10 pm or later (Student Judges cannot work later than 10 pm).
Note: A limited number of half day sessions are available (6 am to 2 pm or 2 pm to closing).
All election judges are required to attend two hours of training prior to working an Election. Training dates and times will be available at a later date.
State law requires that party balance be maintained among judges in the precinct as there are specific tasks in the precinct that require representation from different political parties, i.e. curbside voting, emptying the ballot box, initialing ballots, etc. For this reason, you will be required to disclose your party affiliation to the Election Official. This information will only shared with the head judge in the precinct you will be working in. You do have the option of serving as a non-partisan judge; however, you would be unable to complete some tasks in the precinct.
You can choose to volunteer or be paid. The pay rate for election judges serving in the City of Carver is the current Minnesota minimum wage; student election judges (ages 16 and 17) are paid $1 less per hour. Mileage will also be paid for travel to and from training and the elections. If you choose to volunteer, you will be required to submit an Election Judge Volunteer Form at least 10 days before the election. If you choose to be paid, you will need to complete a timecard form.
Two meals are provided (lunch and dinner), and coffee and water will be available throughout the day. If you have special dietary needs, please bring your own meals.