Election judges, also known under various other names as elections inspectors, elections officers, poll judges or poll officials, are responsible for supervising elections areas and supervising elections processes. These workers receive wide-ranging compensation depending on the state that employs them. Though they are sometimes known as "judges," election judges are not members of the judiciary.
Election judges play an important part of the electoral process, supervising voting precincts, preparing election workers and other related activities. State and county governments typically employ these workers, and each state sets its own requirements for who can act as an election judge and how much they earn. Election judges serve as the public's contact person in any election, providing answers and assisting those who have problems with the voting process.
Election judge salaries differ widely based on various factors, such as the state in which they work and their particular position. For example, an election judge in Illinois, according to the County of Peoria, Illinois, earns $145 each day if the judge has not attended the election judge training class while those who have attended earn $155 per day. In Prince George's County, Maryland, on the other hand, an election judge earns $200 per day while a chief election judge earns $300 per day.
States also establish their own requirements for who can serve as an election judge. For example, the state of Minnesota requires that all candidates be eligible to vote in Minnesota and be able to speak, read and write English. The judge cannot be a spouse, parent, child or sibling of a current election judge and cannot be similarly related to any candidate for public office.
While election judges typically work only to ensure the orderly voting process, election disputes and conflicts arising out of elections sometimes end up in lawsuits. When this happens, a judge has to hear the case. While these judges hear elections or voting cases, they are not the same as "election judges." Each state, as well as the federal government, has its own judicial system, and these judges are responsible for hearing, among other matters, cases involving elections disputes.