Making Democracy Work

Cook County Needs Election Judges for April 4th Election!

Cook County Needs Election Judges!

The Cook County Clerk's office is recruiting community members to serve as suburban poll workers for the spring elections! It is a great opportunity to get paid for supporting the democratic process and serving your community. Judges are an essential part of the democratic process who make sure fellow voters can cast their ballots. Election Judges assist voters and work with their fellow judges to ensure the polling place is running smoothly.

Poll workers are paid $190 for Election Judges and $340 for Equipment Managers. Those who are interested should visit or call 312-603-0965 to learn more and submit an application.

Below is a brief rundown of the position and its requirements.

What are the general requirements?

  • Be a U.S. citizen and a registered Cook County voter.

How much does it pay?
  • Election judges are paid $190 to complete hands-on and online training and serve on Election Day. Election judges are paid an extra $25 for completing an additional epollbook training class. Equipement Managers are paid $340.

What are the training requirements?
  • Election judges are required to take a hands-on training class that lasts roughly 3.5 hours. They must pass an open-book training at the end of the class. Election judges are also required to take an online training that they can complete on their own schedule; it takes about 1.5 hours to complete. Judges are also encouraged to take a 2-hour in-person epollbook training.

When and where are the trainings?
  • Trainings are held throughout suburban Cook County and offered in the afternoon, evening and on weekends.

How do I select my training?
  • After applying, judges will receive login instructions for our online portal where all the available trainings will be posted. Judges choose the dates and times they want to attend training.

What are the Election Day requirements?
  • On Election Day, polling places are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. However judges work together from 5 a.m. until the polls have closed and the polling place has been broken down, the election results have been transmitted to the Clerk's office, and all the election materials have been properly packed away. Many judges complete the process by 8 p.m. but there are polling places that do take longer to pack up. Please note: Judges are also required to set up their polling place before Election Day with their fellow judges at an agreed-upon time. This is usually done on the Monday night before the election. Set up usually takes about 90 minutes.

Where will I be assigned?
  • We try to place judges as close to home as possible but we are often unable to place people in their home precincts. In the rare event that a judge is needed to work outside of their home township, they will be asked in advance whether this is possible.

Do I have to select a party?
  • While Illinoisans do not register by party, state law requires election judges to designate Republican or Democrat to ensure a bipartisan balance. On Election Day, judges work together as a team regardless of party.