2020 election

Chicago in ‘Better Shape' for Election Judges Than Any November Election in Last 30 Years

An election judge helps a woman to cast her ballot in-person for the November 3rd elections at the early voting Chicago Board of Elections' Loop Super Site in Chicago

When it comes to election judges, Chicago is in better shape than any previous November election in the last 30 years, election officials said Thursday.

According to the Chicago Board of Elections, as of Monday, the city had hired nearly all of the 13,000 judges it needs. So far, 12,659 judges have been assigned but the board has roughly 900 applications to still follow up on.

"They've seen amazing turnout in applications for election judges so far and are in very good shape," a spokesperson for the board told NBC 5 in an email.

The current numbers are the best of any November election in the last three decades, according to Chicago Board of Elections Chairwoman Marisel Hernandez.

Of those who have been hired already, more than a quarter are in the 16 to 24 age group. Another 16% are in the 25 to 34 age group, Hernandez said.

Those numbers are significantly higher than the 2016 election. In that year, only 19.29% were in the 16 to 24 grouping, while just 7.19% were between 25 and 34 years old.

Every age group from 45 and up saw declines in numbers, data showed.

Historically, judges have overwhelmingly been seniors. Their participation might be down because older people face greater health threats from contracting COVID-19.

Last month, Pritzker contacted the Illinois State Board of Elections to urge using money in the budget to recruit election judges, who oversee the polls on Election Day in November.

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