EDWARDSVILLE – County clerks in Madison and St. Clair counties said finding judges to serve in primary and general elections is a constant need.
“Election judges are always in demand,” Madison County Clerk Debra D. Ming-Mendoza told the Record. “Not necessarily for the 2018 primary election, but to help populate a resource of qualified individuals in-waiting who could serve in the advent of an absence or emergency.”
An election-day judge is considered an agent of the court and is tasked with the smooth running of a polling place. Judges are the only ones permitted to handle election materials, supplies and ballots.
Ming-Mendoza said for a person to serve as an election judge they must be 18 years of age, a registered voter and have received training from the county clerk.
“However, the law does allow for student election judges who are nominated by advisers from each high school district,” Ming-Mendoza said. “These persons must be a junior or senior in good standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.”
Ming-Mendoza said the deadline to become a judge for the March 20 primary is March 15.
St. Clair County Clerk Thomas Holbrook told the Record his office deals with 1,000 judges in 190 precincts.
Of the two political parties, there is sometimes a shortage of Republican judges reluctant to serve in a precinct to which they have been assigned. Holbrook also agreed there is a constant turnover of judges.
“However, 95 percent of them will be back,” he said.
Judges receive training by taking classes held over a two-week period and judges are certified every two years. A stipend is provided for those attending the classes.
“We filled these classes back in February,” Holbrook said. “However you can come in before March 20 if you’re qualified and if we need someone and have an opening, for example if someone got the flu and couldn’t make it.”
Holbrook added there are three to four judges in a precinct for a primary election and five judges in a general election.
Persons interested in service may call the county clerk’s office. The number for the Madison County Clerk's Office is 618-692-6200. The number for St. Clair County is 618-277-6600