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Peoria County looks to hire more election judges for June primary

Tim Shelley
Tim Shelley

Moving this year’s primary Election Day to June is posing a staffing challenge for the Peoria County Election Commission.

“It's not desperate, but we definitely need more election judges,” said PCEC Executive Director Thomas Bride, adding they would like to hire about 50-75 people to work at the polling places on June 28 – which is months later than normal.

“I think it's having a little bit of an effect on our election judges, just because typically we just don't have these kinds of elections in the middle of summer,” he added.

Bride said they’ve had difficulty attracting enough Election Day workers over the past few years.

“Staffing up with election judges is becoming harder and harder as we go along. We've had fewer people that want to do that, or have the time to do it,” he said. “Traditionally, election judges have been older, and so they may just get to the point where they don't want to work anymore just because of their age.

“We've been able to supplement in the past with student judges, and we're hoping to have some student judges for this election. But I think the June date is also causing some problems; people are busy in the summer or maybe they're out of town, those kinds of things.”

Bride said the Election Day election judges would work as a team administering the voting at a polling place: setting up the machines in the morning, checking voters in throughout the day, and returning the ballots and equipment to the Election Commission after the polls close.

He says the job pays $165, and also requires a two-hour training session.

“We've trained people pretty much right up to the election in the past,” said Bride. “A couple years ago when COVID hit in March 2020, we did trainings the day before, just because we had a number of judges dropping out. So we'll do trainings as long as we need to, right up to the election.”

Any registered voter living in Peoria County can serve as an election judge, with the exception being candidates running for office or political party committee members. College students from out of town currently living in Peoria County and high school juniors and seniors who aren’t yet registered to vote are also eligible.

Anyone interested in working as an election judge is asked to fill out an online application at www.peoriaelections.gov/185 or call the Election Commission at 1-309-324-2300.

Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.