Serve as an Election Judge

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Serve as an Election Judge 
Serving as an Election Judge is a great way to show pride in your community while learning about the election process and getting paid! Currently, election judges are paid $11 per hour.

Election judges serve as the officials in the polling places on Election Day. Some duties include opening and closing the polls, registering and signing in voters, distributing and collecting ballots, operating voting equipment, recording and certifying vote totals, and ensuring voters' rights are protected.

The City is seeking Election Judges to serve at Columbia Heights polling places for the following 2020 elections: the State Primary Election on August 11, and the General Election on November 3.

*Being an Election Judge and COVID-19*
We understand there may be concerns about having close contact with large numbers of people while working at a polling place. We are working closely with our partners at the state and county level to ensure a safe and healthy experience for all. In preparing for the election days we are considering all aspects of the voter and election judge experience. Some actions include changing polling place set-up to account for social distancing, supplying personal protection equipment, and having adequate disinfectant supplies. Please contact City Clerk Nicole Tingley either at (763) 706-3611 or via email at ntingley@columbiaheightsmn.gov with any questions or concerns.

Students 16 and Older can serve as Student Election Judges!
Student Election Judges serve alongside Election Judges with the same duties and pay. It a great opportunity for students to serve the community and gain valuable experience while earning money! It also looks great on college applications and resumes!

In addition, to filling out the Election Judge application below, students must also receive permission from their parent/guardian and school by submitting the Student Election Judge Permission Slip (PDF).

How to Apply
If you are interested in serving as an election judge or student election judge, please complete the Election Judge Application (PDF).

*Tip* Do not fill out the PDF in an internet browser. Make sure to download the PDF, rename it, and save it on to your computer, open the PDF from the saved location and then fill it out. If you cannot open the file, make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is free to download.

Completed applications can be emailed to the City Clerk at ntingley@columbiaheightsmn.gov. They can also be mailed to or brought to:

Columbia Heights City Hall
Attn: City Clerk
590 40th Ave NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421

Required Qualifications

  • Eligible to vote in the State of Minnesota
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak English
  • Ability to complete mandatory (paid) training sessions (2 hours for regular election judges, other positions require more)
  • Cannot be a spouse, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling or stepsibling of any current election judge serving in the same precinct or of any candidate in that election
  • Cannot live, either permanently or temporarily, with any candidate on the ballot at that election
  • Cannot be a candidate in the election
Desired Qualifications

  • Ability to communicate clearly and respectfully with all voters
  • Strong commitment and understanding of and commitment to nonpartisanship
  • Enjoy assisting and serving diverse populations
  • Language skills to assist non-English speaking voters
  • Demonstrate attention to detail
  • Ability to handle stressful situations calmly and professionally
  • Comfortable using technology
  • Flexibility on precinct assignment
  • Ability to work long hours on Election Day
Time Off from Work to Serve as an Election Judge

State law allows for time off from work to serve as an election judge without a reduction in pay.

To qualify, you must:
1. Notify your employer in writing at least 20 days in advance of election day.
2. Attach a certificate of service to your notice. This will be provided by the City Clerk.

"Without a reduction in pay" means that get to earn at least the same amount you would have, had you gone to work that day. Employers may reduce the salary of the employee by the amount received for working as an election judge for hours the employee would normally work. The Statute makes this decision optional for the employer.

You may voluntarily take a vacation day to be fully paid by your employer and receive election judge pay as extra income; however, an employer may not force you to take a vacation or any other form of paid leave.

You may give this letter to your employer, provided by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, to explain the law regarding time off from work to serve as an election judge.