Current Election Judges

The Election Judge plays an important role in the voting process.  As a hands-on participant in democracy, you ensure that our elections are administered fairly and in accordance with the law.  We simply could not have an election without you.  Thank you for making the commitment to serve your community.   We are always recruiting Judges and would appreciate you tell your friends, neighbors, co-workers and family about signing up for this important civic duty.

Updated in 2020, this training manual provides step by step instructions for working as an Election Judge.


Frequently Asked Questions
What time do I have to arrive at my assigned Polling Place?
In order to complete the “Opening the Polling Place” procedures, all Election Judges must arrive at their assigned Polling Place no later than 5:00 AM.

How many hours will I have to work?
Illinois law requires that the polls be open from 6:00 AM until 7:00 PM.  All Election Judges must arrive at the polls no later than 5:00 AM and must remain until the “Closing the Polling Place” procedures are completed.  Two Election Judges, one from each political party must return the supplies in the same vehicle.

Could I work a half day and another Election Judge come in for the rest of the day?
No, In order to maintain the integrity of the election, the Election Judges that opened the Polling Place equipment and signed the zero tape in the morning must also be present to sign all the closing documentation.

Will I be paid the same day I come in for training?
No.  In order to be paid for attending a training class, you must also serve on Election Day.

When do I receive my paycheck if I work an Election?
On Election Day you will fill out a payroll sheet and will receive your check approximately one month after serving.

Will I have to report my earnings to the Department of Employment Security or declare the earnings on my Federal Tax Return?
The County Clerk’s Office does not issue W-2 forms.  It is the responsibility of the person receiving the funds to report the earnings.  This is based on IRS requirements.  If you have any questions, you should contact your personal financial advisor.

Where do I vote if I am not working in my Precinct?
All Election Judges are encouraged to take advantage of a Vote by Mail ballot.

How will I know if I am working on Election Day?
You will receive an assignment letter from the County Clerk’s Office indicating which Polling Place you are to report to on Election Day.

How do you determine how many Republican and Democratic Election Judges work at a Polling Place?
The number of Republican and Democratic Judges is determined by an average of the three most recent Governor’s races.

How often is the County Clerk required to train Election Judges?
Before being assigned to work, all Election Judges are required to attend a two-hour training class.  After this, Election Judges are required to be trained every two years.

I signed up to be an Election Judge in my own precinct but I am never called to work there.  Why?
Although our office attempts to place an Election Judge in their own Precinct, it is not always possible to do this.  If an Election Judge is appointed by the Precinct Committeeman, they must be placed in their Precinct.  If we are unable to place an Election Judge in their own Precinct we make every attempt to place them as close as possible.  Election Judges that are willing to travel outside of their own Precinct are paid mileage.

How are Election Judges appointed?
Five Election Judges are appointed to serve in each Precinct, three representing one of the major political parties, Democratic or Republican, and two Judges representing the other.  The Precinct Committeeman of each respective Precinct furnishes the County Clerk with a certified list of persons to serve as Election Judges for their Precinct.  At its July meeting in even-numbered years, the County Board approves Judges from these lists.  If the Precinct Committeemen do not furnish the list, it is the responsibility of the County Clerk, Township Party Chairman and Central Party Chairman to fill the position.  The Circuit Court confirms the appointment of Election Judges for a two year term of service.  Once commissioned, Election Judges perform their duties as officers of the court.  An individual commissioned to serve as an Election Judge is obligated to be available for each election during the two year period.  In addition to the five regular Judges appointed, alternate Judges are appointed and commissioned in the same manner.

Will I be provided food for lunches, snacks and dinner?
No.  The County Clerk’s office does not provide food during the day.  Our budget does not allow for food and beverage.  You are always encouraged to bring along a cooler with food and water or pop you will need for the day, as it may not always be possible for someone to leave the Polling Place to purchase food.

It is important for the Will County Clerk’s office to have the correct address for their Election Judges and voters. Click here to complete the Voter Registration Change of Address form.

Use the link above to have your name removed from our Election Judge list.