​​​​​Student election judges play a crucial role by serving as the gatekeepers of democracy.

As part of a team of judges, you'll be responsible for helping voters and supervising polling place activity. You also get paid for it. Student election judges can earn up to $250 every election.

If you're a high school junior or senior, you may apply to serve as a student election judge even though you're not old enough to vote.


Student judges share the same responsibilities, hold the same authority and perform the same tasks as other election judges. Those tasks include:

  • Opening the polling place in the morning and closing it at night
  • Setting up election equipment
  • Providing assistance to voters
  • Signing in voters
  • Verifying voter qualifications
  • Distributing ballots/activation cards for touch-screen machines
  • Operating voting equipment
  • Filling out forms
  • Processing and transmitting votes at the end of the day
  • Certifying vote totals

Eligibility (ILCS 5/13-4)

To be eligible to serve as a student election judge, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen by the time of the election
  • Be a high school junior or senior in good standing enrolled in a public or private secondary school
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Successfully complete an election judge training course conducted by the Clerk's office
  • Have written approval by your high school principal
  • Have written approval from a parent or legal guardian


Judges work long hours, arriving at the polling place at 5:00 am and working until the equipment is packed up after the polls close at 7 pm.


After taking a 3 hour Certification training course a Certified Election Judge will then receive​ $250 for working Election day.


Election judges are required to work the entire day.

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