Serving as an Election Judge: A One Day Commitment to Honest Voting
Last time I listed a number of links on the topic of voter fraud, and if you haven’t yet, I would encourage you to read the articles and watch the videos. While it may sound trite — it is nevertheless true — a lot is at stake on Election Day. These days, the policies chosen by those we elect — even at the local level — can involve many millions and at times billions of dollars.
When big money is at stake, some of our fellow fallen human beings are tempted to cheat — and a favorite past-time for many politicos is tampering with voting and election results. In the days of computer tabulating, games can be played just as easily as they were in the days of the “hanging chad.”
This isn’t to indict one party over the other since both D’s and R’s have been caught playing illegal games. Suffice it to say that the party that more often cheers fast-growing government and higher taxes is filled with people with a special interest in what takes place inside the polling places. It’s called the profit motive.
This is why one of the most important jobs on election day is that of the Election Judge. It can make for a long day — since their duties start before the polling place opens and ends well after the polls close. Depending upon which precinct and in which county you serve, pay can range from just under a hundred dollars a day to, with training, upwards of a hundred and fifty or more.
As someone who has served several times as an Election Judge, I can report that while it’s not a difficult job, it is a serious one — so serious, in fact, that you are legally an officer of the Circuit Court. Here’s the Illinois State Board of Elections summary:
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.
Election Judges show up early to set up, and are responsible for the proper execution of voting once the polling place opens to the public. When the polls close, they supervise the counting of the votes for that precinct. Again, here is the State Board of Elections:
In the polling place, the election judges are responsible for the proper and legal conduct of the
election. They serve as officers of the Circuit Court and swear or affirm to uphold the Constitutions
of the United States and the State of Illinois.
Yes, you get to swear or affirm the oath.
[Since a]ll election judges have equal authority and responsibility in upholding the law[, t]here is no “head” judge. The judges act as a board in making decisions and the majority rules. However, each judge may act alone to enforce election laws.
In Illinois, judges agree to serve for a two-year period.
You’re not only a judge for a day, you’re also a cop — in that Election Judges are to enforce the law regarding things like who is allowed in the polling place — here’s the list:
Illinois election law requires that only authorized individuals be allowed in the polling place: election judges, qualified pollwatchers, voters while voting, representatives of the election authority, the State Board of Elections, the Attorney General’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office, and local, state and federal law enforcement officials acting in their official capacities. Pollwatchers must have proper credentials issued by the election authority or the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Also of note:
Election judges are required to maintain order in the polling place throughout Election Day. All persons present in the polling place or within the campaign free zone must obey a lawful order of the judges. Election judges have the authority to evict any person who is creating a disturbance. Individuals violating the law may be arrested by appropriate law enforcement personnel. All serious problems should be reported to the election authority.
Okay, so you’re not really a police officer, but of course local law enforcement knows it can be called to a polling place at any time.
Government-provided training to be an Election Judge is free and it is valuable, since there is a quite a bit to know.
Americans will only see the manifestation of constitutional government and the rule of law to the degree they are willing to enforce — and that includes on Election Day.
Here is just one of the cited examples of Illinois voter fraud mentioned in the Heritage Foundation’s list of 300 cases:
63 Individuals CONVICTED: 2005
A DOJ investigation of the Illinois election in 1982 estimated that 100,000 fraudulent ballots were cast in the gubernatorial primary. The investigation was tipped off by a party worker from Chicago’s 39th Ward who was upset by his precinct captain’s broken promise to award him a city job for his participation in the vote fraud scheme. The conspirators cast ballots for people who were elderly and disabled. The investigation resulted in 63 individuals being convicted, the largest voter fraud case in DOJ history.
Serving either as a Poll Watcher or Election Judge can help deter such bad behavior.
To learn more, read the short version here: Election Judges Duties and Responsibilities, and the longer version here: Manual of Instructions For Illinois Election Judges 2016.
Image credit: www.illinoisfamilyaction.org.
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