Be a Minnesota Guardian of Democracy

4 mins read

What’s the difference between Poll Worker & Poll Watcher?

Poll Worker:
Nonpartisan, Paid (Clerks, Judges, Inspectors, Checker, Precinct Worker)

Poll Watcher:
Partisan, Volunteer (Observers, Monitors, Challengers)



To be a poll worker (Election Judge) You must be 18+, registered to vote in Minnesota, declare party, be a resident of the state 20+ days prior to election, complete training. Students 16+who are registered in High school may work with written permission from a parent or guardian. To apply, contact a city or county election office.


In an even year, you may also contact your political party prior to May 1. *Each major political party must provide lists of potential judges to their county auditor by May 1 of the election year. By May 15, the Secretary of State shall furnish the list to the county auditor for each precinct. Appointments are made locally by the township board or city council who must give preference to the parties’ lists of names. All appointments must be made at least 25 days before the election.

Contact a city/county election office using info here.

Approx DEADLINE to sign up to be a Poll Worker

May 1, 2020


At election to fill partisan offices, the chair of an authorized committee of each major political party may appoint by written certificate voters from that political party to act as challengers of voters at the polling place for each precinct. Only one challenger from each major political party for each precinct shall be allowed to remain in the polling place at one time. A challenger must be a resident of the state. 

Representatives of the secretary of state’s office, the county auditor’s office, and municipal or school district clerk’s office may be present at the polling place to observe election procedures. Except for these representatives, election judges, sergeants-at-arms, and challengers, an individual may remain inside the polling place during voting hours only while voting or registering to vote, providing proof of residence for an individual who is registering to vote, or assisting a disabled voter or a voter who is unable to read English. During voting hours no one except individuals receiving, marking, or depositing ballots shall approach within 6 feet of a voting booth, ballot counter, or electronic voting equipment, unless lawfully authorized to do so by election judge or individual is an election judge monitoring operation of ballot counter or electronic voting equipment. Teachers and elementary or secondary school students participating in an educational activity may be present at the polling place during voting hours. 

Who is Authorized to Challenge a Voter’s Eligibility on Election Day?

An election judge, an authorized challenger or other voter may challenge an individual, based upon the personal knowledge they know that the voter is not eligible to vote at that precinct.

Resources for Minnesota:

  • Retweetable Tweet with links for Minnesota here.
  • Shareable FB post & downloadable graphic here.
  • GoogleDoc here.

POLL WORKER (and Poll Watcher) Requirements & links to sign-up in All 50 States, STATE BY STATE Including:

  • Who is Authorised to Challenge a Voter’s Eligibility on Election Day? 
  • & Links to retweetable TWEETS & shareable FB Posts for each State
  • Twitter THREAD with links here.
  • Facebook shareable Album with downloadable graphics here.
  • On the Postcards for America website here.
  • On the Unhack the Vote Website here.

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Postcards for America gives you PC2As (Postcarders Calls to Action) on key bills, topics and issues so you have all the info you need to write your Reps about your concerns.
Addresses, background information and even Suggested Wording provided.

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