Election workers wanted in Cook, DuPage, McHenry counties

Facing a dearth of polling place workers, some suburban county clerk offices have boosted pay rates for those positions.

And some still are hiring for the April 4 local election.

Election judges' responsibilities vary from county to county. They typically oversee election procedures in polling places, are responsible for election materials, ensure only qualified people vote, give instructions or assistance to voters when needed, and certify a precinct's results.

In suburban Cook County, election judges working April 4 will be paid $250 - a $50 increase from the last election. Polling place technicians will earn $385 - a $20 bump.

Technicians are paid more because they have additional responsibilities, including overseeing voting machine operations and setup.

"Our election (workers) are a precious resource and they deserve this pay raise," County Clerk Karen Yarbrough said in a news release. "They are the lifeblood of our election operations and we could not get the job done without their service."

Yarbrough is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday with local elected officials, including Palatine Schaumburg High School District 211 board member Tim McGowan, urging suburban residents to become election workers.

To be a Cook County election judge or technician, you must be a U.S. citizen and registered to vote in the county. High school or college students who aren't registered to vote can participate but must have at least a 3.0 grade-point average.

Additionally, a polling place technician must have access to a car and a cellphone on Election Day.

Applicants must complete a training course that is offered through March 28. To apply, visit or call (312) 603-0970.

The DuPage County clerk's office still is hiring election workers, too.

In DuPage, all election employees are considered judges, and they're paid $250 for the day's work. That's up from $130 in 2022.

Workers must be at least 18 and registered to vote in DuPage. Training courses are online.

Chief Deputy Clerk Adam Johnson is confident his office will have enough workers for the big day.

"We're on the pace that we need to be for Election Day," he said.

To apply, visit

The Lake County clerk's office boosted pay for election judges in 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic made recruitment more difficult, spokeswoman Kania Robinson said.

Judges working polling places during early voting earn $12 per hour. On Election Day, the flat pay rate varies from $100 to $225, depending on the job.

Even with the bigger budget, the county has fewer election workers than the 894 that were desired, Robinson said. Hiring is done for the cycle.

The shortage's impact on Election Day should be minimal because early voting and voting by mail has become increasingly popular, Robinson said. In addition, turnout usually is lower during municipal elections than federal elections, she said.

Regardless, people can apply for future elections.

"A big priority for Clerk (Anthony) Vega is to develop and build a robust recruitment apparatus ahead of the 2024 presidential cycle," Robinson said.

Election workers in Lake County must be registered voters there and cannot be subject to the state's sex offender registration law. They must be fluent in English; bilingual people are encouraged to apply.

More information is available at, by emailing, or by calling (847) 377-2408.

Kane County officials say they've got enough election judges for April 4 but always accept applications.

Kane's judges are paid $200 for the day. They must be U.S. citizens, Kane County residents, registered to vote and fluent in English, and they must attend a three-hour training course. High school juniors and seniors can be student judges who earn up to $200 per election.

To apply, visit

In McHenry County, election judges are paid $180 and technical judges are paid $260. U.S. citizens who are at least 16 years old can apply.

Judges must be fluent in English, understand basic math, not be subject to the sex offender registration law and be registered to vote in the precinct in which they're assigned to work.

In each McHenry polling place, at least one judge representing each political party must have completed a training course and test within the preceding six months.

You can apply at, by emailing or by calling (815) 334-4242.

• Daily Herald staff writers Christopher Placek and Doug T. Graham contributed to this report.

DuPage County clerk boosts pay for election judges

Thank your local poll workers

Cook County seeks suburban poll workers for April 4 election

Many suburban counties still are hiring election judges and other polling place workers for the April 4 local election. Daily Herald File Photo, 2008

All in a day's workElection Day pay for election judges and other poll workers varies by county.

Cook: $250 or $385, depending on job

DuPage: $250

Kane: $200

Lake: $100 to $225, depending on job

McHenry: $180 or $260, depending on job

Sources: Daily Herald interviews, county clerk websites

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