Election Judges

Election judges are paid officials who staff polling places, carry out election procedures and help guarantee the rights of voters are protected.   They are vital to efficient and honest elections. Serving as an election judge is an opportunity to give something back to the community. Come work with us!


Detroit Lakes has three polling locations staffed by citizens who are appointed as election judges.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact the City Clerk at 218-847-5658.


Requirements, Wages and Time Off From Work:

  • You must be eligible to vote in Minnesota and be able to read, write and speak English.
  • You must complete an election judge training course (at least two hours).
  • Election judges can choose to volunteer or be paid. Wages vary by city.
  • Employers are required to give employees time off to work as an election judge.

Position Descriptions - 
Election judges may switch among these positions during the day:

  • Head Judge is in charge of the polling place.
  • Greeter Judge directs traffic flow and maintains order.
  • Roster Judge signs in voters who registered in advance.
  • Registration Judge registers voters who did not register in advance.
  • Demonstration Judge explains how to mark a ballot.
  • Ballot Judge gives ballots to voters.
  • Ballot Counter Judge oversees the ballot box area and gives out “I Voted” stickers.


Student Trainee Judges

  • Ages 16 or 17
  • U.S. citizen in good academic standing at a Minnesota high school (or home schooled)
  • Obtain school and parental permission
  • Serve in the county where they reside or in an adjacent county
  • Trainees are paid at least two-thirds of the minimum wage.
  • They do not have to serve the entire day; they cannot work past 10 p.m. 
  • Trainees are assigned the same duties as other judges, with the exception of tasks requiring party affiliation. 
  • Trainees do not designate party affiliation. 
  • Trainees must attend and complete the same training as other judges.


Time Off Work to Serve as an Election Judge


Procedure to Request Time Off:

  • State law allows you to receive time off from work to be an election judge.
  • To qualify, you must notify your employer in writing at least 20 days in advance of Election Day and attach a copy of your schedule and pay rate form. The schedule and pay rate will be provided by the jurisdiction that hires you as an election judge.


Employers and Election Judge Pay:

  • Your employer can reduce your salary or wages by the amount you are paid for being a judge during the hours you are away from work. (For example, if you normally work 8 hours, your regular salary is $10 per hour and your election judge salary will be $5 per hour, your employer can reduce your normal salary of $80 by $40 and pay you the difference of $40.)
  • You can voluntarily take a vacation day to be fully paid by your employer and receive the judge salary you earn as extra income.
  • An employer cannot force you to take vacation.