Missoula County voters are about 100 days away from the June primary election. It’s an exciting — and busy — time for elections officials as they prepare to help thousands of Missoula County voters.
More than 75% of registered Missoula County voters cast ballots in the last presidential election. While it is true that more than half of Missoula County voters opt to vote via a mail ballot, in the 2016 general election, more than 16,000 of our friends and neighbors chose to vote in person, on Election Day, at their neighborhood polling places.
As the county prepares to serve those voters effectively and efficiently in 2020, we need to recruit and train about 600 election judges for the forthcoming primary in June, and the general election in November. Being an election judge is a great way to serve our community, and get paid for it.
The requirements are simple:
• Judges must go through training every two years, in order to stay informed about any changes to the voting process. Initial training is about three hours, and there are advanced training sessions for poll book judges and polling place managers.
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• Judges are asked to work the primary in June and the general election in November, and they may work a full- or a half-day shift.
• Election judges are usually assigned to their neighborhood polling place.
• Election judges greet voters, issue ballots, explain voting processes, operate equipment, answer questions and hand out “I voted” stickers. They help set up and break down polling places on Election Day and may assist with ballot pick-up and drop-off.
Judges are paid for both their service and their training sessions. Judges must be at least 18 years old, be registered to vote, and they must reside in Missoula County. Just as important, they should be interested in learning more about the voting process and enjoy providing friendly customer service to Missoula voters.
County elections officials and my fellow members of the Elections Advisory Committee hope that Missoulians will answer the call to serve as election judges in 2020. There are training sessions scheduled throughout March, and interested county residents can sign up online at www.MissoulaElectionJudge.com. More information about voting, registration, candidates, absentee status and election calendars is available at www.missoulavotes.com or by calling the Missoula County Elections Office at 258-4751.
The 2020 election will be here before we know it. Missoula County looks forward to helping our voters and providing great customer service. We hope you’ll join us.
Todd Mowbray, Sue Harrison, Denver Henderson are members of the Missoula County Election Advisory Committee.