The Montgomery County Board of Elections Needs YOU!
By Nancy Farrar
Our County Board of Elections needs Republicans to sign up, train and serve as election judges for the primary and the general elections. There is no specific deadline to sign up and serve on primary day, June 26, but the last training session at this time is scheduled for June 9th. Please do not wait until the last minute. Sign up now to serve as a GOP election judge! https://www4.montgomerycountymd.gov/BoardOfElections/qA.seam
Ideally, all positions in a precinct are filled by an equivalent number of judges from each party. An average precinct can have 12-16 judges. Unfortunately, during recent election cycles, some precincts have had only one or two Republican judges present at the polls. Making sure we have a sufficient number of Republican election judges trained and available for the both the primary election – June 26 – and the general election – November 6 – is critical to preventing the appearance of Election Day shenanigans.
In order to serve as an election judge, a person must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a U.S. citizen and a registered Maryland voter
- Be at least 17 years of age, with parental permission
- Clearly and fluently speak, read and legibly write in English
- Successfully complete Stage One (online) and Stage Two (hands-on) training
- Be able to work the hours required for the position selected (this includes attending a mandatory meeting on the Monday evening prior to each election at the assigned polling precinct)
- Be willing to deal courteously and patiently with the public and coworkers
Under Maryland law, an election worker may not hold or be a candidate for any elective public office. Nor may he or she be a candidate for political party office or any office created under the Constitution or laws of the state. Lastly, an election judge may not serve as a campaign manager for a candidate or the treasurer for a campaign finance entity.
Please note that there are a number of different types of election judge positions. Some are all day positions and others are partial day positions for those who can’t commit to a full day of service. Be aware that some of these positions require previous experience as an election judge – and if you have served as an election judge before, please consider applying for a Chief Judge position.
The positions at a precinct on Election Day include the following: Chief Judge, Voter Operations Judge, Voter Operations Judge-Driver, Opening Judge (part day) Closing Judge (part day), line manager and greeter. Several additional positions also need to be filled for the county’s nine early voting sites during the early voting time frame. Descriptions of these positions and their requirements can be found here: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Elections/ElectionJudge/jobdescription.html. There is also a special need for Spanish-speaking election judges to be present at each precinct, per the requirements of Section 203 of the 1975 Voting Rights Act.
You can begin the process by filling out an application online or by printing out the form, which can then be submitted in person at the Board of Election offices, by mail, by email (with a scanned form) or by fax. Click here for the application.
After your application is processed and approved, you will be asked to take a quiz. Usually the quiz is taken online, but it also can be taken at the Board of Elections office. Once you have passed it, you’ll be contacted by your assigned recruiter and scheduled for hands-on training for your assigned position. Election workers are paid for both their training time and for working at a precinct on Election Day. However, you are only paid for training time if you actually work on Election Day. The amount that you are paid depends on the position to which you are assigned.
For additional questions about becoming an election judge, please contact the Montgomery County Board of Elections at [email protected] or by calling 240-777-8533.
P.S: High school students who are 17 or older can also serve. Serving as an election judge can be a great addition to student’s college application list of activities. Younger students may also serve as election workers and earn MCPS SSL credits. If you have questions about how students can help, check this out: https://montgomerycountymd.galaxydigital.com/agency/detail/?agency_id=82310