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Champaign County puts out the call for election judges for April 4

A sign identifies the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana as a polling place.

UPDATE, March 28: The Champaign County Clerk’s office announced Tuesday it was closing nearly a third of its previously announced polling locations for the April 4th election, due to a shortage of election judges.

County Clerk Aaron Ammons said that voting at 20 locations would be reassigned to other locations, leaving a total of 46 vote centers in Champaign County on Election Day. 

Ammons had tried to maintain the same number of polling places in Champaign County as in last year’s election. But he said that was impossible due to the shortage of election judges — especially Republican judges.

Ammons noted that Champaign County voters may cast their ballot at any vote center in the county, regardless of which precinct they live in.

Also, the closures of some Election Day vote centers does not affect early voting, which is going on now at eleven locations around the county.

URBANA, March 26 — Tuesday, March 28 is the deadline for formal announcement of polling locations for the April 4 consolidated local elections in Illinois. In Champaign County, the county clerk’s office says the number of polling places will depend on how many election judges they can recruit. 

County Clerk Aaron Ammons says as of right now, Champaign County is well short of the number of judges he would like to have. 

“So if we had all the judges we need, we would have 67 polling locations,” said Ammons, “because the objective was to stay consistent with the midterm election that we just had, because the voters respond to consistency. But if we don’t have the number of election judges, then we’re going to have to cut.”

Ammons says his office needs more than 200 election judges to staff 67 separate polling places with three to five judges each. But as of late last week, he was more than 80 judges short of that number.

Both Democratic and Republican judges are required. Ammons says the job pays $200 for a single day’s work. But it’s a long day, staffing polling places that are open from 6 AM to 7 PM on April 4.

Election judges serve on “frontlines of democracy”

Ammons asks prospective election judges to look at the position as a defender of democracy, ensuring that the voting process runs smoothly.

“This is important work,” said Ammons. “It’s work that has to be done in order for us to have elections to have fair, free and accessible elections for the state of Illinois or certainly for Champaign County.”

Since first making his call for more election judges on March 14, Ammons says about 15 have been signed up and trained.

If he doesn’t have enough election judges signed up by March 28, Ammons says he will have to have some adjacent precincts share polling locations, cutting the number of locations from 67 to perhaps fewer than 25. Ammons says Champaign County consolidated precinct polling places in the 2021 consolidated election but was able to move away from that practice in 2022.

Information about becoming an election judge is available by calling (217) 384-3720, or by checking the Champaign County Clerk’s office website,

Election judges in Champaign County must be U.S citizens of good repute and residents of the county, who are eligible for vote, can speak, read and write English and have basic computer literacy.

Ammons says the shortage of election judges only involves Election Day polling places. He says staffing is in place for early and mail-in voting.

More early voting sites opening this week

Effective Monday, March 27, early voting for the April 4 election expands to ten additional locations around Champaign County, in addition to the county’s Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana:

  • Illini Union – 1401 W Green St, Urbana
  • Lake of the Woods Pavilion – 109 S Lake of the Woods Rd, Mahomet
  • Leonhard Recreation Center – 2307 W Sangamon Dr, Champaign
  • Meadowbrook Community Church – 1902 S Duncan Rd, Champaign
  • Parkland College – E Building – 2400 W Bradley Ave, Champaign
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran Church – 802 E Douglas, St. Joseph
  • Savoy Recreation Center – 402 W Graham Dr, Savoy
  • The Church of The Living God – 312 E Bradley Ave, Champaign
  • The Gathering Place (First United Methodist Church) – 220 S Marshall St, Rantoul
  • Tolono Public Library – 111 E Main St, Tolono
Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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