Good news! At its meeting this morning, the Minneapolis City Council approved an increase to all election judge pay rates of $2.45 per hour, effective retroactively to August 1. This brings the base rate of pay for all election judges in the City to $11.20 per hour. Judges performing other roles, including serving as head, assistant head, health care, or precinct support judges, will also see an increase of $2.45 per hour to their wages.
The recommendation to make this increase was spurred by the action of the Minnesota Legislature passing a series of increases to the state’s minimum wage. The first increase took effect August 1, 2014, raising the level to $8.00 an hour. Chapter 2, Section 6 of the City Charter requires “the compensation of election judges shall be forty (40) percent greater than the prevailing minimum wage as defined by state law unless the City Council sets a different rate.” This increase will maintain base wages at a level forty percent greater than minimum wage.
The other key element of the Council’s action today was approving staff’s recommendation to treat student election judges as team judges for purposes of compensation. This supports the work of the Elections & Voter Services division over the past two years to build the student election judge program and ensure that student judges are allowed every opportunity afforded under law to fully participate in polling places. The division believes strongly in the value of engaging young people early in the administration of elections, for building both future citizens and election administrators. The administration of elections is under increasing scrutiny, including increasing pushes to professionalize all aspects of it. Over the past several years, student judges have been invaluable to helping us ensure the staffing in our polls is representative of the communities being served and in providing much needed second language support.
The Elections & Voter Services Division believes maintaining a competitive compensation structure that acknowledges the professional support being provided by various types of judges – from frontline poll workers to polling place management and field support – better supports recruiting and retaining a strong corps of election judges serving Minneapolis voters. People interested in serving as election judges for the November 4 General Election are encouraged to visit http://vote.minneapolismn.gov/judges to learn more and to apply online.
Elections & Voter Services
City Hall, 350 S. 5th St., Room 201
Minneapolis, MN 55415