Get Involved - As hands-on participants in democracy -- Pollwatchers, Election Judges assist in safeguarding one of our most treasured Constitutional rights: Our Right to Vote. Election judges are officers of the Circuit Court and have legal authority to conduct the election in the polling place. All judges have equal responsibility and authority. In the performance of their duties, election judges administer the voting procedures, determine voter qualifications and maintain the decorum of the polling place. By majority decision, the judges have the sole power to allow or disallow a challenge to a voter, to cause removal of unauthorized Pollwatchers and to limit the number of Pollwatchers in the polling place. All persons present in the polling place, or within the campaign free zone, must obey a lawful order of the election judges. Only the Election Judges may handle election supplies and materials.
Pollwatchers, Candidates, political parties, qualified organization of citizens, organized proponents and opponents of a ballot proposition, and State non-partisan civic organizations may appoint Pollwatchers. The Pollwatchers’ role is established by law. Pollwatchers sometimes referred to as challengers, checkers or simply watchers, are election observers who aid in ensuring the free and fair conduct of elections. Pollwatchers may be in the polling place before the polls open, during the actual voting hours, and after the polls close. All Pollwatchers must be registered to vote in the State of Illinois and must possess valid credentials. Every Pollwatcher must surrender his credentials to the judges when he/she enters the polling place. If he/she refuses, or if the credentials are not valid, he/she must leave. All Pollwatcher credentials are to remain in the possession of the judges and returned to the election authority after the polls close.
To be valid, Pollwatcher credentials must contain the following: a. The real or facsimile signature of the appropriate election authority or the Illinois State Board of Elections. The election authority may not require any political party, candidate, the presiding officer of a civic organization or the chairman of the proponent or opponent group to submit the names or other information concerning Pollwatchers before making credentials available to such persons or organizations. b. The real or facsimile signature of the appointing authority. The appointing authority can be the state or local party Chairman, the presiding officer of a qualified organization of citizens, the presiding officer of a State nonpartisan civic organization, the chairman of an opponent or proponent to a proposition, or a candidate, whichever is appropriate. c. The signature and address of the Pollwatcher and a statement that the Pollwatcher is in fact registered to vote from that address. d. The name of the county and the precinct or ward in which the Pollwatcher is registered.
The number of Pollwatchers allowed in the polling place at any one time is limited by law. Election judges help to insure that the rights of voters are administered fairly and in accordance by law on Election Day. This Guide may be amended to include new legislation and court decisions. Please visit the Illinois State Board of Election’s website (www.elections.il.gov) for any updates.
The Rock Island County Republican party and the County Clerk's office needs election judges to serve in 38 vote centers throughout Rock Island County for each Election. There are always shortages in specific areas of the county because each judge is not able to serve in every election. At each Vote center, there are judges from both major political parties; a Republican and a Democrat. One judge CANNOT assist a voter while voting. Some of the duties of the Judges of Election are:
To open and close the polls;
To be responsible for all election materials; To ensure that only qualified voters are permitted to vote and that each qualified voter is permitted to vote once and only once;
To ensure that all votes are cast in secret;
To give instructions in the method of voting when requested by a voter;
To give assistance to illiterate and physically disabled voters;
To maintain order in the polling place (vote center) throughout the day;
To tally the vote after the polls are closed; and to certify the election results in that precinct.
To Qualify as an Election Judge Election judges are chosen by the Precinct Committeemen and by that Party Chairperson of their political party. To qualify to be an election judge, you must:
be a citizen and be a registered Illinois voter;
be of good repute and character;
be able to speak, read and write the English language;
be of good understanding and capable of performing duties;
not be a candidate for any office in the election;
not be an elected Precinct Committeeman.
Election Judge Certification Training Election Judge Certification Training every two (2) years, the Election Judges are certified by the Circuit Court. The certification training covers the duties of the election judges from before the polls open and continue through the day until the polls close. A written test is given after the training session. The Certification Class is offered at no charge and takes approximately Two (2) to Two and One-Half (2.5) Hours. Certification classes are usually scheduled before each Primary Election and General Election.
How to become an Election Judge? Contact Rock Island County Republicans headquarters at 309-558-0454 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(309) 558-0454 | email@example.com | 500 16th Street | Rock Island, IL, 61201
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday 10AM - 1PM | Meetings 3rd Thursday of Every Month at 6pm