Election Judges

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Are you (or is someone you know): 

  • a resident of Minnesota?
  • a U.S. Citizen?
  • not had your voting rights revoked?
  • able to read, write, and speak English?
  • eligible to vote?**

Do you want to 

  • earn $10-$12 per hour?
  • get involved in the election process?
  • work with the public?
  • do something different than the same old run-of-the-mill stuff?
  • get to meet lots of people? 

If so, you (or someone you know) can be an election judge! 

What does this involve?

  • there is a 2 hour training class (generally held in June/July). Online training is also available.
  • Judges must be at the polling place at 6:00 A.M. and work until they are finished that evening (around 10:00 or 11:00 P.M. or later)  We would like it if people can work all day, but we will consider part-time help as well, like 6 am - 2:30 pm  or 2 pm to end of day.
  • There is a Primary election in August
  • There is a General election in November
  • If you are an election judge at a place that is not your polling place, you may vote absentee.
  • A person can work either the August election or the November election or both days.
  • Regular judges are paid $10.00 per hour; head or co-head judges are paid $12/hour 

Duties of an Election Judge

  • Set up the polling place
  • Operate voting equipment
  • Direct voters to the correct line
  • Register individuals to vote
  • Ensure all qualified voters are permitted to vote
  • Demonstrate how to vote
  • Distribute ballots to voters
  • Assist voters
  • Close down polling place following voting
  • Determine results after polls close
  • Certify the polling place results

Who is eligible? 

  • You must be eligible to vote in Minnesota
  • You must be able to read, write, and speak English
  • You cannot be a candidate or the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of any candidate on the ballot in that precinct
  • High school students 16-years-old and older may serve as trainee election judges.

How does a person sign up?

 In person - Come to the City Clerk's Office and give us your name, address, phone and availability (full-time or half-day, am or pm) and whether you are interested in being a regular judge or co-head judge

  • By phone - call Eileen at  the City Clerk's office at 507-328-2912 and give us your name, address, phone and availability (full-time or half-day, am or pm) and whether you are interested in being a regular judge or co-head judge
  • Via email - click here to send an email via our contact form.
  • Printable forms - click here to print off application forms.

    Please note: even when our office is not having an election upcoming, we will still accept information from people who want to apply to be an election judge.

Do I have to use vacation time to work as an election judge?

State law allows you to receive time off from work to be an election judge. Notify your employer in writing at least 20 days in advance, and attach a copy of your schedule and pay rate form.

Your employer can reduce your salary or wages by the amount you are paid for being a judge during the hours you are away from work. (For example: If you normally work 8 hours, your regular salary is $15 per hour and your election judge salary will be $10 per hour, your employer can reduce your normal salary of $120 by $80 and pay you the difference of $40.) Or, 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. (M.S. 204B.195)


** Election Judge Trainees:
  • must be 16 or 17 years old (once they reach 18 years of age, then they can apply to be a regular judge)
  • must be enrolled in a high school or homeschooled in Minnesota
  • may work from 6 am to no later than 10 pm at the polling place (half-day shifts are available)

Even if you're not interested in this wonderful opportunity, tell your spouse, your kids (if they're 18), your neighbors, or whomever you can think of. Know any retirees? Pass it along to them!