DeKalb County Clerk
Election Judge Programs

ELECTION DAY JUDGE

Election Day Judges are chosen by the County Clerk and by the Party Chairperson of your political party.  You may begin the process by contacting your Precinct Committeeperson, or Party Chair, to have them appoint you to your home precinct.  The appointment process takes place after every Primary Election, for a two-year Election Judge term, or you may apply to the office by filling out an enrollment form and submitting it to our office.

Election Judge training classes are held before each election. The classes cover all of the information needed to conduct an election and are primarily scheduled for new judges.  All Election Judges must attend a state mandated class, every two years, prior to the General Election. Election Day Judges receive a base pay of $110.00 and $40.00 for attending a training class.

EARLY, GRACE AND VOTE BY MAIL JUDGE

All voting, prior to Election Day, has been redefined as Early Voting, Grace Period Voting or Vote by Mail.  Early Voting and Vote by Mail both begin on the 40th day preceding the Election and Grace Period Voting begins 27 days before and ends at 7:00pm on Election Night.  These programs require DeKalb County to employ Judges to cover the various duties needed.  We begin Early Voting in the Legislative Center in Sycamore, 40 days prior to Election Day, with up to 4 open positions each day.  Designated Hours Early Voting begins 15 days prior to Election Day and requires that we have at least two Judges to work in each of our 5 Early Voting Centers.

Vote by Mail Judges are required to process all ballots, returned through the mail, beginning the 15th day prior to election day and must be comfortable with looking up information on a computer and comparing signatures for validity.  Vote by Mail Judges are typically Early/Grace Judges and are scheduled through the Early Voting cycle.  They are also paid at an hourly rate and considered a county employee.

An Early/Grace Period Judge requires separate training from the Election Day Judge sessions.  They are trained as Deputy Registrars and must be able to write clearly on a voter registration form, be comfortable with computers and data entry.  Deputy Registrar training is included in all of the Early/Grace training sessions.

Election Day Registration Judges fall into 2 different categories; VoteSafe and Manual Judges.  The VoteSafe Judges work in DeKalb, Cortland and Sycamore Precincts, are trained as Early/Grace Judges and use the automated system on a laptop.  All other Judges, who work Election Day, are considered Manual Registration Judges and learn how to complete the process during regular judge training.

All Early/Grace, Vote by Mail and Election Day VoteSafe Judges must be trained and work during one regular election before being scheduled as such.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT JUDGE

Through the years DeKalb County has seen an increase in High School Students, who participate in the electoral process.  Our “seasoned” Election Judges have welcomed their enthusiasm, attention to detail, knowledge of electronic equipment and their willingness to be as helpful as possible; they have invigorated the precincts they have worked in.  The High School Juniors and Seniors, who have joined us in ensuring a fair and honest election, have not only learned how the process works and the importance of voting but have become educators themselves.

School students and organizations may participate for a school/group project, for Community Service hours and donating their pay to a local charity or completing necessary requirements for the National Honor Society program or graduation.  We hope you will consider joining our team by becoming an Election Judge; an experience you will enjoy.  If you are unable to participate all day, we do have other positions available on Election Night such as Runners and Tally Judges; please contact the Elections Office, if you are interested.

If you would like more information about the Election Judge process, please contact Lynne Kunde, the Election Judge Coordinator, at 815-895-7183 or lkunde@dekalbcounty.org.