Election judges are crucial to the electoral process!

While making important decisions, you will also make new friends. It is a paid position. If you are interested in this important civic responsibility, please contact the Board of Election Commissioners at 815-987-5750.

Judges of election are responsible for the administration of election procedures in the polling place on Election Day. They are in the position of ensuring the election process is administered fairly and in accordance with election laws.

Register to be an Election Judge!

What are the qualifications to be a judge of election?

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be of good repute and character;
  • Be able to speak, read and write the English language;
  • Be skilled in the four fundamental rules of mathematics;
  • Be of good understanding and capable;
  • Be a resident of and be registered to vote in Winnebago County; and
  • Be responsible for your transportation to and from the polling place you have been scheduled to work.

How are  judges of election selected?

Judges of election are selected by the Board of Election Commissioners and are approved by their party.  For each polling place, three are appointed from one of the major parties and two from the other major party.

Every even numbered year, after selections are made, a report is filed in the circuit court and application is made for the election judges' confirmations and appointments by the circuit court.

As vacancies occur, the Board of Election Commissioners is responsible for filling them with a voter of the same political party.

Do judges of election receive compensation?

Yes, judges of election receive a base pay of $200.00 per election served.  Those who attend a certification training session, study their manual and take a test will receive $225.00 per election.

One judge from every polling place is asked to pick up supplies, arrange a time to set up the polling place, call the judges in his/her precinct, and set up the polling place Monday before the election. This judge will receive additional pay for that election.  Another judge is asked to assist the pickup judge in setting up the polling place and will, also, receive additional pay for that election.

How are judges of election trained?

The Board of Election conducts training sessions every even numbered year, at which time each judge receives certification.  Training is also given prior to most elections for new judges.

This required training covers the duties and responsibilities of election judges and consists of at least four hours of class instruction, home study of  the Judges' Manual and an examination.

High School Election Judges

The Rockford Board of Elections conducts a program whereby high school juniors or seniors may become election judges. The program is conducted through the Rockford public and private high schools.

High School Election Judge Qualifications

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Be a junior or senior in good standing enrolled in a public or private school;
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Have written approval of his/her parent or legal guardian;
  • Must satisfactorily complete the training course for judges of election;
  • Must be a resident of Winnebago County; and
  • Meet all other qualifications for appointment and serve as a judge of election.

Our office sends a request to each high school before every election. The schools respond with the names of interested students. Attendance at a training class of 4 hours is required and arranged with each student. The program is authorized by the Illinois Election Code. Students who take part are not marked absent the day they serve as election judges. It is a paid position.   It is a great way to learn more about the election process, while fulfilling a civic responsibility.

Every election, approximately, 20 students benefit from their experiences on Election Day. It is an extremely important service they are performing for their community. We have found that students quickly understand the procedures and are of great assistance to the other judges in their polling places.

We very much appreciate the students who have worked in the past and anticipate the privilege of working with many more juniors and seniors.