On the ballot will be races for Judge of Election and Inspector of Election. The Judge of Election is in charge of the smooth operation of the polling station while the Majority Inspector and Minority Inspector are in charge of verifying voter’s ability to vote in a particular Precinct.
Most people are unaware that these are elected positions, therefore, very few people run for the positions. This leaves the Voter Registration office scrambling to fill the positions every election.
We need reliable, honest people in these positions who will respect everyone’s right to vote and ensure the laws are being followed.
Machine Operators are appointed by the Coordinator in the Voter Registration office. Clerks are appointed by the Inspectors. Judges and Inspectors are elected by the voters in each Precinct.
To be eligible for Judge or Inspector, one must be registered to vote in the Precinct where you are running. You cannot be a government employee at any level, and, you may not cross-file as a candidate for more than one party.
To get on the ballot for Judge or Inspector, request a Nominating Petition from the Voter Registration office, Room 112 at the Erie County Courthouse. These will be available beginning February 10th.
When you pick up your Petition, ask for a complimentary list of voters in your Precinct. This list is sometimes referred to as a “Street Sheet,” and contains the name, address, and party affiliation of each registered voter in your Precinct.
You will need at least 10 signatures from active, registered voters in your same party. These are your “qualified electors” and you can begin obtaining their signatures on February 16th.
Once you have your requisite signatures, return your Petition to the Voter Registration office. I recommend keeping a copy of your completed Petition to ensure your name appears on the ballot.
Unfortunately, PA is still a “Closed Primary” State meaning only Republicans and Democrats may vote in the Primary. Presumably, you will vote for yourself. Because so few people run for these positions, you’re pretty much guaranteed to win.
These elected positions are for 4 years. You serve for 13 hours on election days, both in the Primary as well as the General Election. The pay is for “meals & expenses,” it is not considered income. Clerks, Inspectors, and Machine Operators are paid $130/day, Judges are paid $155/day. Paid training usually occurs about 6 weeks before each election. This is a fun way to get to know your neighbors, which is the whole point of having poll workers work in their own Precincts.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the current poll worker Coordinator, Abby Williams, at (814) 451-6274 or email her at awilliams@ErieCountyPA.gov.