Election Judges Needed to Keep Polling Places Open This November
Carlinville – With just under 120 days to go until the 2020 Presidential election, the need for election judges to work at polling places is great. Voters who want a front row seat to democracy are encouraged to apply in the weeks ahead.
“Election workers are the most valuable players in our democracy, and we can’t have successful elections without them,” said Macoupin County Clerk Pete Duncan. “For everyone sharing on social media the memes saying if you can stand in line at Wal-Mart you can stand in line to vote, now is the time to step up and volunteer to work at your polling place so folks have the ability to go to their polling place and vote.”
Finding individuals willing to serve as an election judge is hard under the best of circumstances, but all across the county, states are facing an election judge shortage during their primaries due to COVID-19. And it’s not just big cities. For example, Marion County, West Virginia has about 10,000 more people than Macoupin County. They typically have 70 polling places on an Election Day. On their June 9th Primary, they had 9 polling places open due to lack of workers.
Duncan also stressed that the County Board has put in place a hiring freeze, leaving one of his office’s positions vacant. Should that position remain vacant this fall, it will be impossible for his office to handle the recruitment and assignment of judges as they do in a typical year. “We spent weeks all the way up until Election morning coordinating and assigning judges to try and fill as many positions as possible,” Duncan said. “In ten years, even with all of that work, we’ve never had a full slate of election judges. Due to the increased demands on my office this election, if the hiring freeze is still in place, we will not be able to spend the month before the election trying to fill positions. It is critical that those who want to vote at the polling place this November decide if it’s important enough for them to work at that polling place and volunteer. I understand those that want the choice between vote by mail and voting at their polling place. But there have to be workers there to run the polls for those polling places to be open or there won’t be that choice on Election Day. We need people to volunteer to work as a judge and help make sure every vote is counted.”
In order to work as an election judge on November 3rd, someone needs to be:
- A U.S. Citizen and registered to vote if you are 18 years or older
- At least 16 years old by Election Day, November 3rd (and remember schools will be closed on Election Day this year)
- Able to perform the duties of an Election Judge
Judges are paid $150.00 for the day of work which begins at 5:00 a.m. and will go until all the work is completed after the polls close at 7:00 p.m. There is an additional $10.00 offered if you complete the training on how to be a judge. Their main duties during the day will be setting up the equipment, signing in voters and providing assistance to the voters if necessary.
Those interested in serving can call (217) 854-3214 or visit www.macoupinvotes.com/democracymvp to fill out the online application.
Those who apply will need to state if they wish to serve as a Democratic or Republican judge. Their contact information will be turned into either political party for them to submit to the County Board to appoint and the Circuit Court to approve, as is required every two years.