Become an Election Judge

The Election Judge who operates the polling place is a very important part of the electoral process. This person is the only contact the Election Office has with the general public during voting hours and is responsible for administering the actual voting procedures in each precinct. Without this individual, it would be impossible to conduct an election.

Expectations & Responsibilities
  • The ideal election judge will be able to endure long hours on Election Day (about 14 hours) and will deal courteously and patiently with the public and coworkers.
  • All judges must make sure that qualified voters who are properly registered are able to cast their vote in a trouble-free environment.
  • The Election Judge represents the entire electoral process and may be the only person a voter has contact with when exercising his or her voting rights. Therefore, the Election Judge must be reliable, courteous, and able to follow procedures exactly.
  • Election Judges must possess good judgment.
Any person who holds a position as Election Judge must be:
  • 17 years old or older
  • Registered voter in the State of Maryland
  • Able to speak, read, and write English
  • 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
  • Able to lift a minimum of 35 pounds
Election Judges are responsible for administering voting procedures in their precinct and ensuring a fair and accessible election for all eligible voters. Duties include:
  • Assisting voters
  • Checking in voters
  • Overseeing all election procedures throughout the polling place
  • Setting up and breaking down a polling place before and after voting hours
Term of Office
Election Judges are appointed biennially (Election Law Article Annotated Code of Maryland, Section 10-203 (a), Registration and Election Laws of Maryland) 13 weeks prior to any regularly scheduled primary election. They serve until after the general election. Therefore, each person accepting appointment as a Judge should be available for the primary and general election to be held in a given election year.

Other Important Information
  1. Training
  2. Compensation
  3. Oath of Office
  4. Resignation
  5. Working & Voting Precincts
Training Sessions for Judges
Maryland law requires all registered voters who desire to become an Election Judge attend a training session as a condition of appointment. You may be required to pass a written and/or hands-on evaluation in order to work.

Annual Review
Even though an individual served many years as a Judge, it is necessary to review the laws and procedures that govern elections before every primary election. Each year the General Assembly of Maryland passes many bills that change the way elections are conducted. An informed Election Judge eliminates the possibility of errors in the operation of a precinct on Election Day.