Blaine needs additional polling place election judges

Blaine City Clerk Jane Cross is looking for new and experienced election judges who can work polling places during the primary and general elections.

This map shows recently redrawn Blaine voting precincts and voting locations. Blaine GIS graphic
This map shows recently redrawn Blaine voting precincts and voting locations. Blaine GIS graphic

“I have about 180 right now,” Cross said. “I need about 270 or 280. We have a lot older judges who aren’t returning. They’ve been my polling place cornerstones for the last 10 or 15 years.”

The date for the primary is Aug. 14 and the general election is Nov. 6.

Cross said election judges are responsible for the administration of election procedures in each voting precinct on election day. “They are trained in two or three hours,” she said. “Training this year is scheduled from mid to end of July.”

Anoka County will train the city’s election judges, Cross said. To qualify as an election judge, a person must be a resident of Minnesota and be at least 18 years of age, be eligible to vote and be able to read, write and speak fluent English.

Additionally, election judges cannot be a candidate in an election or closely related to a candidate and cannot be closely related to another judge in the same precinct, according to Cross.

College students can serve as election judges as long as they are a resident of Minnesota, she said.

High school students are qualified to work as election judge trainees if they are 16 years of age or older and have permission from their parents and their school.

Trainees, election judges and head judges are paid an hourly wage by the city, Cross said.

Election judges are eventually appointed by the city council at least 25 days prior to the given election date.

Applications can be download from and will be accepted through May 31.

That date may be extended if more election judges are needed, Cross said.

“It could be open until June or July,” she said. “In November, we’ll probably need an additional 50 to 70 judges to get us to the 300 total. Those will be hired throughout the summer. We have to have a minimum number of primary judges. With 24 precincts at 10 judges each that’s 240 at a minimum.”

Some Blaine precincts will need more than 10 judges, she said. “I really want to get people in and get them set up for training,” Cross said. “The longer we wait the worse it is.”

Tim Hennagir is at [email protected]