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Yellowstone County, Montana
Election Judge Application Contact Department
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Election judges are temporary, paid employees trained to handle voting at the polling place and central count duties on election day. Election judges administer voting procedures in their assigned precinct and ensure a fair and accessible election for all eligible voters.

Being an Election Judge provides an opportunity to learn more about the election process and to serve the Yellowstone County community. If you are an appointed election judge, you may take pride in performing a civic responsibility and guaranteeing the integrity and security of your local elections.

Election Judges duties may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Working together to ensure the polling place is running smoothly and voters are served in a professional and courteous manner
  • Being responsible for the security of all election materials
  • Setting up and taking down the polling place
  • Greeting voters and directing them to the correct area and otherwise assisting voters when needed
  • Checking in voters
  • Distributing the proper ballots to qualified voters and ensuring that each qualified voter is permitted to vote only once
  • Ensuring votes are cast in secret
  • Preparing outgoing ballots for mailing and processing incoming ballots for tabulation
  • Operating voting equipment
  • Securely transporting ballots in teams of two

On Election Day, all judges are required to work from 6AM to approximately 9PM (depending on your polling location). From 6AM to 7AM, election judges assigned to a polling place help set up the site by starting machines, setting up tables, chairs, and voting booths. Polls open to the public at 7AM and close at 8PM. Once the polls are closed, judges verify materials and prepare them for transport to ensure results may be processed at the central count location.

No experience is required, and the elections department will provide comprehensive, mandatory training.

Payments for Election Judges

In addition to serving your community, you will make some extra money! Election Judges are paid at least the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, and, after serving as an Election Judge, they are also paid for 2 hours of training.

Please note: Election judges are expected to serve a two-year term and may be asked to assist with other elections during the two-year cycle.


Applications are accepted at any time; however, election judges are selected and trained in the first quarter of the year in which a federal general election occurs (even-numbered years). Applications can be submitted online, in person to the elections office during normal business hours, by email, or by mail. Applications received after applications are processed for the selection of election judges may be held for processing for the next election.


Election Judges must meet the following qualifications:

  • I am a citizen of the United States
  • I am 18 years of age or older.
  • I am a resident of Yellowstone County.
  • I am currently registered to vote in Yellowstone County.
  • I am not a candidate running for office in the election, and I am not a spouse, parent, child, or sibling of a candidate or a candidate's spouse or the spouse of any of these.*
    • *This requirement does not apply to candidates for precinct offices
    • **Please note: If you are a candidate or relative of a candidate, please inform the Elections office. You may still be eligible to serve if you can serve in a precinct in which the candidate does not appear on the ballot.

In addition, Election Judges must meet the following requirements:
  • I will act professionally, courteously, and impartially while acting as an election judge, I will follow election laws and rules, and I will remain unbiased with respect to election day issues and candidates.
  • I will refrain from making personal and political opinion comments while serving as an Election Judge.
  • I can work independently, follow procedures and instructions, and I am willing to rotate positions throughout the day.
  • I am fluent in reading and writing the English language.
  • I am willing to attend at least 2 hours of mandatory training, and I will review the Election Judge Manual prior to Election Day.
  • I have reliable transportation and will arrive at my assigned polling place location no later than 6 a.m.
  • After the polls close at 8 p.m., I will remain at the polling place location until after closing procedures are completed and I am excused by the Chief Election Judge or other election official in charge at my site.
    • Please note: Montana law requires the Polls to be open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. All judges must arrive at the polls no later than 6 a.m. and must remain until polling place closing procedures are completed, this typically lasts until 9 p.m.
  • I understand elections judges must sit and/or stand for extended periods of time. I have no physical restrictions that would prevent me from performing Election Judge duties.
  • I understand that election judges are responsible for the security of election equipment and supplies, and I will handle and monitor all such equipment and supplies exactly as instructed. I agree to immediately report to the Chief Election Judge or other election official in charge at my site any malfunction or occurrence that may threaten the security of the election materials.
  • I agree to complete all documentation required for my assigned position's responsibilities, as accurately as possible.
  • I understand that ballot reconciliation forms require that I can apply the fundamental rules of mathematics (addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication). I am capable of and skilled in applying the fundamental rules of mathematics.
  • I can provide a minimum two-week notice for cancellations. This allows the Elections Department to find alternate Election Judges to work.

If you can answer yes to each qualification and requirement, we invite you to apply to serve as an election judge for future county elections.

By Clicking "Confirm" I am confirming that I am able to answer YES to each qualification and requirement, and I wish to proceed to the Election Judge Application


Training Resources

2024-2025 Election Handbook
2024-2025 Election Judge Training Slides
Election Judge Training Videos