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State Board of Elections
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Become an Election Judge

Getting Involved - Citizen Participation

What is an election judge?

An election judge plays a very important role in the electoral process by administering voting procedures in an assigned precinct or early voting center and ensuring a fair and accessible election for all eligible voters. Without election judges, there would be no elections!

Election judges receive training before the election and report approximately one hour before the polls open (10:00 a.m. during early voting and 7:00 a.m. on Election Day) and serve until all duties are completed after the polls close at 8:00 p.m.

Why should you be an election judge?

  • You will be paid. The amount of money you will be paid varies by county.
  • You will have helped other voters exercise their right to vote.
  • You will have an increased appreciation for the democratic process.

Who can be an election judge?

Under Maryland law, you can serve as an election judge if you are:

  • Age 17 or older*
  • Are a registered voter in Maryland
  • Physically and mentally able to work at least a 15-hour day
  • Willing to work outside your home precinct
  • Able to sit and/or stand for an extended period
  • Can speak, read, and write English

* If you are 17 years old, you can serve if you demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the county Board of Elections, that you meet the requirements for an election judge and at least one parent or guardian gives permission.

NOTE: Some positions require election judges to be able to lift boxes and other items weighing 10 to 25 lbs.

Bilingual election judges are also needed.

You cannot be an election judge and a:

  • Candidate or currently hold a public or political office, including State and county political party central committees OR
  • Chairman, campaign manager or treasurer for a political or candidate committee

Attention: State of Maryland Employees

Under a State law, State of Maryland employees who are scheduled to work on Election Day are entitled to use administrative leave to serve as an election judge and keep the compensation received for service as an election judge. Note: Only State employees scheduled to work on Election Day are entitled to use administrative leave.

If you are a State employee and are interested in serving as an election judge, please follow your normal procedures for requesting leave and contact the office to sign up as an election judge. The County Boards of Elections have the necessary paperwork to assist you in using administrative leave.

How can I be an election judge?

To become an election judge, click here! For questions or further information, please email: Katherine.Berry@maryland.gov,
or call (410)386-2958.