Join the COD Poll Worker Project

Help America Vote

By becoming a poll worker (also known as an Election Judge in DuPage County), you'll play a crucial role in ensuring fair, accessible, and transparent elections. It's more than just a temporary job and a scholarship opportunity — it's a chance to be at the forefront of democracy.

  • We believe that every voice matters and every vote counts.
  • We are passionate about empowering our campus community to actively engage in the electoral process.
  • We know active civic engagement is not just a right, but a responsibility.
  • We are the COD Poll Worker Project.

Please note: The 2024 Poll Worker Project student leader application is now closed. All students interested in becoming a poll worker or election judge may do so directly through DuPage County. See FAQ for details.

Our Goals

  • Recruit: To encourage college students to assist in election administration as poll workers
  • Train: To educate college students to become cognizant of the election process and civic education
  • Collaborate: To strengthen the partnerships and civic support network between colleges, state and local governments, and civic-focused non-profit organizations

Why be a poll worker?

Beyond the civic duty and sense of pride that comes with serving your fellow citizens, being a poll worker offers opportunities for personal and professional growth. 

  • Our democracy depends on ordinary people like us who make sure every election runs smoothly and everyone's vote is counted.
  • National data says the majority of poll workers are older and retired.
  • In our area, the majority are over the age of 65.

According to a Power to the Polls 2022 report:

  • 95% of those who served as poll workers reported satisfaction in their work
  • 88% expressed interest in working in future elections
  • 85% of those who received local poll worker training felt prepared to serve during the election
  • 86% believed that elections were run well in their community
  • 52% of those who self-reported language abilities are bilingual, with reported fluency in over 50 different languages

Requirements and Application

In order to apply to be a DuPage County Election Judge, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States and entitled to vote at the next election.
  • A registered voter in DuPage County.
  • Be of good repute and character and not subject to the registration requirement of the Sex Offender Registration Act (730 ILCS 150/1)
  • Able to speak, read, and write the English language.
  • Skilled in the four fundamental rules of arithmetic.
  • Be of good understanding and capable.
  • Not be a candidate for any office at the election.

Note: Precinct Committee persons are eligible to be Election Judges provided they are serving in a Polling Place outside of their home precinct.

Learn more: Go to the DuPage County website.

Application

Frequently Asked Questions

The COD Poll Worker Project is an initiative focused on supporting College of DuPage students in becoming Election Judges in DuPage County. The project has 3 goals:

  1. Recruit: To encourage college students to assist in election administration as poll workers,
  2. Train: To educate college students to become cognizant of the elections process and civic education, and
  3. Collaborate: To strengthen the partnerships and civic support network between colleges, state and local governments and civic-focused non-profit organizations.

Students selected to participate in the project are considered campus leaders and can earn compensation in the form of scholarships for fulfilling their project requirements in addition to the compensation provided by DuPage County. Please note: the 2024 leader application is now closed.

Election Judges play a vital role in the election process. Election Judges are responsible for the administration of election procedures in the polling place on Election Day. They ensure that the election process is administered fairly and in accordance with the law.

Polling places are staffed with a bipartisan team of Election Judges.  Each location will be staffed with approximately ten Election Judges (DuPage County).

In order to join the COD Poll Worker Project, you must be:

  • Currently enrolled and taking classes at College of DuPage
  • A returning student the following fall semester
  • In good academic standing at COD, with a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Excited about empowering our campus community to actively engage in the electoral process
  • Positive attitude and ability to work in diverse teams of people
  • Meet the qualifications to be an Election Judge in DuPage County or the College Student Election Judge qualifications if you live outside of DuPage County.

Students participating in the project receive:

  • $40 per training session (3 total)
  • Additional $100 on election day in addition to $250 provided by DuPage County

All persons serving as an Election Judge must meet the following criteria.

  • A citizen of the United States and entitled to vote at the next election.
  • A registered voter in DuPage County.
  • Be of good repute and character and not subject to the registration requirement of the Sex Offender Registration Act (730 ILCS 150/1)
  • Able to speak, read, and write the English language.
  • Skilled in the four fundamental rules of arithmetic.
  • Be of good understanding and capable.
  • Not be a candidate for any office at the election.

Note: Precinct Committee persons are eligible to be Election Judges provided they are serving in a Polling Place outside of their home precinct

Yes, if you do not live in DuPage County, you may participate in the Poll Worker Project as a College Student Election Judge if you meet the qualifications.

Illinois statute 10 ILCS 5/13-4 permits a person who is not entitled to vote in that precinct or county to be appointed as an election judge if, as of the date of the election the following criteria is met.

  • a U.S. citizen
  • currently enrolled in a community college, or a public or private Illinois university or college
  • have a cumulative grade point average equivalent to at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • have satisfactorily completed the training course for Judges of Election

Students in the project participate in 3 trainings hosted by College of DuPage and 1 training required by DuPage County.

College of DuPage Sessions

  • Orientation Session (June 11, 2024 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.)
  • Elections 101 (July 16, 2024 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.)
  • Communication Across the Divide (August 13 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.)

DuPage County Sessions

  • Election Judge Training Course (Online and In Person, flexible)
  • Declare your political party affiliation as Democrat or Republican.  
  • Be able to lift 30 LBS.
  • Be able to operate voting equipment. (Tablet, printers, scanner, etc.)
  • Be able to stand for moderate periods of time.
  • Be able to rotate through various positions on election day.  
  • Attend an in-person equipment training class.
  • Complete the online training course and pass a quiz. 
  • Attend polling place setup the night before the election. (Approximately 2 hours)
  • Arrive by 5 a.m. sharp on election day to serve in your appointed polling place.  
  • Remain at the polling place for the entire day.  
  • Remain at the polling place until all forms, certificates, and affidavits are completed and signed, and all equipment and election materials are packed and secured for post-election pickup.
  • Setup polling place the night before Election Day.  (Approximately 2 hours)
  • Open and Close polls.
  • Check in voters.
  • Issue correct ballot to voters.
  • Ensure only qualified voters are permitted to vote, and that each qualified voter only votes once, and that all votes are cast in secret.
  • Oversee the voting process.
  • Give instructions on the method of voting when requested by a voter.
  • Provide assistance to voters when required.
  • Maintain security of all election materials.
  • Maintain order in the polling place throughout the day.
  • Read, complete, and sign all election forms, certificates, and affidavits according to instructions.  
  • Pack and secure equipment for post-election pickup.
  • Return supplies – Two judges, one from each party, are required to return supplies to the Election Division Office on election night after the polls close.  (Additional pay $30/each judge)

The COD Poll Worker Project student leaders will host poll worker recruiting events leading up to the 2024 elections. Current project students will be invited to assist with leading the events and recruiting peers to be poll workers through DuPage County.

Poll Worker Project students are also encouraged to join the COD Votes Student Committee which will be registering voters, getting out the vote, celebrating Constitution Day, and hosting National Voter Registration Day. Please note that these activities are in tandem with the Poll Worker Project and are not a required part of the experience.

After election day, the COD Poll Worker Project will host a Post-Election Celebration where we will celebrate and debrief our experiences and discuss future opportunities to be involved including the planning of a Poll Worker Summit to be hosted in 2025.

Students who cannot participate in the COD Poll Worker Project due to ineligibility or time constraints are welcome to get involved in other ways.

  • Apply to become an Election Worker with DuPage County. Go to the DuPage County website for available positions including Check-In Clerk, Field Representative, Production Laborer, Student Worker, and Election Day Runner.
  • Join the COD Votes student committee. Reach out to slc@cod.edu for more information and meeting times.

The COD Poll Worker Project is funded by the United States Election Assistance Commission’s Help America Vote College Program and the College of DuPage Office of Student Life.