The Cook County Clerk’s Office partners with more than 80 high schools across suburban Cook County in an effort to get students engaged in the electoral process. More than 1,500 high school juniors and seniors serve as election judges each year.
High school students who participate in the Student Judge program play a crucial role in our democracy. As part of a team of judges, students share the same responsibility for helping voters and supervising polling place activity as adult judges. Student election judges can earn up to $200 every election for successfully completing their training and working on Election Day.
Students gain a sense of civic duty and first-hand experience of what it takes to run an election. In fact, student surveys show:
93 percent report being more likely to vote in the future
90 percent report that they would be willing to serve again in the future.
To qualify as a student judge, you must:
- Be a high school senior or junior
- Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
- Be a U.S. citizen by the next election
- Able to speak, read and write English fluently
- Successfully complete an election judge training course conducted by the Clerk's office
- Have written consent from your principal and a parent or legal guardian. Pending school policy, this signed consent will excuse students from attending school on Election Day
- Reside in Cook County
Election judges must arrive at the polling place by 5 a.m. and stay until after the polls close at 7 p.m. and the precinct votes are counted and transmitted.
All new election judges must attend a hands-on training session conducted by the Clerk's office and complete an online training. Election judges who complete the e-pollbook class will receive an additional $25. Training sessions are held at convenient locations throughout the county.
- Judge Connect
You will receive your training and assignment information through our online portal, Judge Connect. It is important that you have email access as Judge Connect is a critical part of the election judge process.
Election judges receive $200 for their work. This compensation is paid to students who attend training, pass the test and work on Election Day. All three conditions must be met.
- Bilingual Judges
If you are bilingual -- particularly Spanish, Chinese or Hindi speakers -- we need your help! In accordance with federal law, the Clerk’s Office assigns bilingual judges to precincts in suburban Cook County with high concentrations of Spanish, Chinese and Hindi-speaking voters who are not proficient in English.
After submitting the application, you must print out the signature consent form, get the required signatures and either hand it to your high school coordinator, fax it or email it to us.
Fax forms to 312.603.9788 or email to HighSchool.Coordinator@cookcountyil.gov.
If you have questions about the Clerk's Student Judge Program, please call 312.603.1099 or email us at HighSchool.Coordinator@cookcountyil.gov.