PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — With one week remaining until the Illinois primary election, Peoria County Election Commission officials are putting out a final call for election judges.
Tom Bride, executive director of Peoria County Election Commission, said they have trained more than 200 election judges, but ideally would like to have between 250 and 300 judges.
Election judges are paid $165 for the day, which starts at 5 a.m. and ends after the polls close at 7 p.m.
Bride said its a long day, but it is worthwhile to be part of the democratic process and learn how elections work.
“I think if you talk to a lot of election judges, they’ll tell you its rewarding. They’re part of the process, it’s a building block of democracy. It all starts at the ballot box, and it’s important,” he said. “I think there’s a feeling of being part of the community when you do it, and you learn a lot.”
He added lack of confidence in elections is an issue across the country, so he encouraged those who have questions to come serve as judges.
“There’s a lot of discussion in the press about elections and how they work or if they do work. If you’re part of the process, I think you can start to see the processes that are built into it, the security that’s built into it, and it starts to make sense how they do work…That’s why we’re inviting people to be part of the process. Because I think if they understand it more, they’d have a lot more confidence,” said Bride.
Bride said high school juniors and seniors are eligible to serve as election judges.
Those interested in becoming an election judge can apply in-person at Peoria County Election Commission, located at 4422 Brandywine St., Peoria.