Tricounty News

Election judges needed

Serving as an Election Judge is a great service to our community and essential to our democracy. Election Judges are officials that staff local polling places, administer election procedures and ensure that the rights of voters are protected on Election Day.

Duties of an Election Judge: set up the polling place, operate voting equipment, direct voters to the correct line, register individuals to vote, ensure all qualified voters are permitted to vote, demonstrate how to vote, distribute ballots to voters, assist voters, close down polling place following voting, determine results after polls close and certify the polling place results.

Required Qualifications to be an Election Judge: you must be eligible to vote in Minnesota; you must be able to read, write, and speak English; you cannot be a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of any election judge serving in the same precinct, unless serving on separate shifts and you cannot be a candidate or the spouse, parent, child, stepchild or sibling of a candidate on the ballot in that precinct.

Desired Qualifications of an Election Judge: ability to communicate clearly with voters, comfortable with assisting and serving a diverse population, ability to remain impartial and not exert influence over voters, physical and emotional stamina, attention to detail and general math skills. Required Training: completion of a two-hour long training class every two years, training sessions cover basic provisions of Minnesota election law, Stearns County election procedures, operation of voting equipment and related topics. Classes are conducted on weekday afternoons and evenings. Days and Hours of Work: election judges work the primary election (August 14), the general election (November 6) or both. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Judging shifts are from 6:00 a.m. to approximately 9:00 p.m. (or whenever closing activities are finished); 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (noon) and 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Preference will be given to individuals who are able to serve all day. Compensation for Time: you can choose to volunteer your time or to be compensated. Kimball election judges are compensated at a rate of $8.00 per hour. The City provides meals and refreshments on Election Day.

Time-off from Employment to Serve: you may take time-off from work to be an election judge. You must give your employer at least 20 days written notice, and you must attach the hour/pay rate form you will receive from the City Council that appoints you. Your employer may reduce your salary/wages by the amount you are paid as an election judge during the time you are away from work. Your employer may restrict the number of its employees serving as election judges to no more than 20 percent at a single work site.

Becoming an Election Judge: complete the election judge sign-up form (available at City Hall). Attend your political party's precinct caucus and request to be on a list of volunteers to be an election judge. All appointments are made by the City Council at least 25 days before an election.

Student Eligibility: college students at least 18-years old may serve as election judges. High school students at least 16-years old may serve as trainee election judges.

If you are interested in becoming an election judge, please contact Kimball City Hall at (320) 398-2725,

or stop by to pick a sign-up form. Sign-up deadline is May 11, 2012, and you must be registered for the required training no later than May 25, 2012; training takes place during the month of July.

Published in the Tri-County News Thursdays April 19, 26,

May 3, and 10, 2012