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Election PandaElection Judges are appointed biennially (Article 33, Section 10-203 of the Annotated Code of Maryland) thirteen weeks prior to any regularly scheduled primary election and serve until after the general election.  Therefore, each person accepting appointment as an Election Judge should be available for the primary and general election to be held in a given year.

The Election Judges who operate the polling place are a very important part of the electoral process.  These persons are the only contact the Board of Elections has with the general public during voting hours and are responsible for administering the actual voting procedures in each precinct.  Without these individuals, it would be impossible to conduct an election.

All Election Judges must make sure that qualified voters are able to cast their vote in a trouble-free environment.  They represent the entire electoral process and may be the only person a voter has contact with when exercising his or her franchise.  Therefore, the Election Judge must be reliable and courteous, present a neat appearance, be able to follow procedures exactly, and above all, possess good judgment.

Several different types of Election Judges work in a polling place because of the multiple responsibilities entailed:

  • Chief Judge
  • Check-In Judge
  • Unit Judge
  • Provisional Judge
  • Alternate Judge 

    1.)  An Election Judge must be a registered voter in the State of Maryland

    2.)  An Election Judge must be able to speak, read, and write the English language.

    3.)  An Election Judge may not be a candidate, a campaign manager for a candidate, or a treasurer for a candidate or political committee.

    4.)  An Election Judge must be physically able to work continuously throughout the entire day, 5:45 a.m. through approximately 9 p.m.

    5.)  An Election Judge may not engage in partisan or political activity while on duty in a polling place.

    6.)  An Election Judge must be 17 years of age and older.

The following is the pay scale for Harford County Election Judges:

Type of Judge


Early Voting

Election Day

Chief Judge

$25.00 / hour

$220.00 / day

$250.00 / day

Provisional Judge

$25.00 / hour

$165.00 / day

$185.00 / day

Check-in Judge

$25.00 / hour

$145.00 / day

$175.00 / day

Unit Judge

$25.00 / hour

$145.00 / day

$175.00 / day


$25.00 / hour

$50.00 / day*

$50.00 / day*

*Alternate Election Judges are paid the same salary as the person for whom they substitute.  If an Alternate Election Judge is not called to step in for an Election Judge, they will be paid $50.00 for serving standby.

Chief Judges, Election Judges, and Alternate Election Judges will receive compensation for taking a mandatory course of instruction, except that such compensation will not be paid if the Judge refuses to serve on election day, unless excused by the Board of Elections.  Payment for the training session will be included in the regular paycheck for election day work.

An Election Judge who finds it necessary to resign must send his or her written request stating the reason for not serving on election day to the Board of Elections.  The Board will make a determination as to the acceptability of that request.

Maryland law provides that all persons employed by the Board of Elections who are unable to vote in their home precinct shall vote by absentee ballot.  Election Judges who are assigned to work outside their home precinct should vote at an Early Voting site or by absentee ballot.   Sometimes, however, it is necessary to fill last-minute vacancies with Election Judges who live outside of the area of the polling place in which they work.  It is incumbent upon those individuals to call the Board of Elections and request an absentee ballot.  Every effort will be made by the Board of Elections staff to send an application and an absentee ballot. 


OR contact the Harford County Board of Elections
at 410-638-3565 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Harford County Board of Elections
133 Industry Lane, Forest Hill, Maryland 21050
(voice) 410-638-3565 (fax) 410-638-3310 (tty) 410-638-3086

Associated Documents:
How To Become An Election Judge Brochure
New Judge Application and Questionnaire

Harford County Board of Elections
133 Industry Lane, Forest Hill, Maryland 21050
410-638-3565 or 410-879-2000 -- (TTY) 711 -- (fax) 410-638-3310

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