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Secretary Simon: Minnesota needs election judges for 2016

April 5, 2016

“There is a huge demand for bilingual election judges and new student election judges, and Minnesota must meet that demand. I encourage Minnesotans to consider applying and taking part in this civic opportunity.”

SAINT PAUL — Today, Secretary of State Steve Simon called on Minnesotans to serve as election judges during the August 9 Primary Election and the November 8 General Election, especially those who are fluent in languages other than English.

It’s expected that about 30,000 Minnesotans will be needed to serve as judges in 3,500-plus polling places. Most election judges are hired by cities and counties in April and May and receive training over the summer. Interested persons can apply and learn more about becoming an election judge here.

“Election judges serve on the front lines and are responsible for handling all aspects of voting at the polling place. They are critical to ensuring that elections not only happen, but that the rights of voters are protected on Election Day,” said Secretary Simon. “There is a huge demand for bilingual election judges and new student election judges, and Minnesota must meet that demand. I encourage Minnesotans to consider applying and taking part in this civic opportunity.”

Election judges receive training in a range of duties, including greeting and registering voters, providing ballots, assisting voters as needed, overseeing ballot-counting machines, and compiling precinct voter statistics at the end of Election Day. Election judges also have a legal right to take time off of work to serve without penalty.

Potential judges must be eligible to vote in Minnesota; be able to read, write and speak English; and attend a training session provided by local election officials. Students age 16 and 17 can apply to be election judge trainees. Election judges can choose to volunteer or be paid; wages vary by city.

In February, Secretary Simon challenged the people of Minnesota to return our state back to number one in voter turnout. To help with this effort he announced that his office, among other initiatives, would be leading a coordinated push to recruit both more bilingual election judges and new student election judges in Minnesota. This includes reaching out to and partnering with businesses, city governments, and community organizations to encourage Minnesotans to apply to work on Election Day. Partners are currently being supplied with toolkits and outreach materials.

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Contact: Ryan Furlong, 651-297-8919, ryan.furlong@state.mn.us

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