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In the United States an election judge (called an elections inspector, elections officer or poll worker in some U.S. states) is an official responsible for the proper and orderly voting in local precincts. Depending on the state, election judges may be identified as members of a political party or non-partisan. They are generally volunteers or paid a small stipend for their work. Each voting precinct is staffed with multiple judges. The duties include signing in registered voters, explaining voting procedure and use of voting equipment, providing ballots and monitoring the conduct of the election. In Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Maine they also register new voters on election day. Depending on the state, election judges are chosen by a county official (such as the county auditor), city or township official (such as a city clerk) or the state.
In California, poll workers can be any citizen who requests the job at least two months prior to an election. Inspectors and site supervisors receive minimum of two training classes, and clerks are required to attend a training class within two weeks of the election, with additional certification classes for any machine or technological devices to be used. These classes cover a wide range of topics, including opening and closing of the polls, which color pen to use on which paper, dealing with irate voters, and the rare times when a voter can be challenged.
In 41 of the 50 United States, high school students can serve as Student Election Judges. Each state has its own set of requirements for students to serve as poll workers, but generally, students must be in good academic standing at their school and meet the particular age or grade conditions.
- Elections Office of Minneapolis, Minnesota - Page describing the duties of an election judge
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