Election Judges

Responsibilities of Election Judges

Election judges are responsible for the administration of election procedures in the polling place. Election judges help to guarantee the rights of voters are protected on election day.

Any person who resides in and is eligible to vote in the state where they serve is eligible to be an election judge. Judges must state a political party affiliation, if they have one, and no more than half the judges in a precinct may belong to the same major political party.

You may take time off from your regular job without penalty, other than a reduction in wages equal to those wages you earn while serving as an election judge. A person selected to serve as an election judge must give 20 days written notice prior to the election to his or her employer.

For more information about the duties to be performed as an election judge, please check out the Election Judge reference guide for 2022 Elections.


Election judges perform the following duties:

  • Open and close the polls (judges work in shifts from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm or later)
  • Take responsibility for all election materials
  • Ensure qualified voters are permitted to vote only once
  • Distribute ballots
  • Help voters requiring assistance
  • Maintain order in the voting place throughout the day
  • Register new voters at the polling site
  • Process absentee ballots
  • Obtain the results after the polls are closed
  • Certify the precinct election results

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of Minnesota for at least 20 days, and a citizen of the United States. You should be prepared to provide identification to prove your identity.
  • You cannot be the husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister of a candidate or be related to another election judge in the same precinct.
  • You cannot be a candidate for the election in which you are serving as a judge.
  • You cannot be a judge unless you can read, write, and speak the English language understandably

High School Student Trainees

16 and 17-year-old students can work as election judge trainees, receive training, and be paid for their work. It’s a great way to learn about elections and voting, and earn cash at the same time! 

You cannot be asked to work past 10:00 p.m. You will be assigned the same duties as other judges, with the exception of tasks requiring party affiliation. You will need to attend and complete the same training as other judges.

To qualify, you must be 16 or 17 on or before Election Day, be a U.S. citizen in good academic standing at a Minnesota high school (or home schooled), and get permission from your parents and your school.

Application to be an Election Judge

If you are interested in applying to be an Election Judge please apply online.