Cook County, Illinois announces need for Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu speaking poll workers

A voter in Hamtramck, Michigan, casting their ballot. Photo AALDEF Facebook

Facing a critical shortage of election poll workers, Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough announced Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022 that bilingual speakers of Hindi and several other languages were needed to fill posts of Election Judges. She also announced her office is launching a campaign to recruit military veterans to serve as Election Judges in the upcoming November Gubernatorial Election.

To apply to work as an Election Judge or Polling Place Technician, visit

The Clerk’s Office said it is in need of bilingual Election Judges in many precincts with high concentrations of Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu speakers as well as Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Polish, Russian, Arabic and Ukrainian-speaking citizens.

Suburban Cook County has seen a decline of approximately 40 percent in the number of Election Judges over the past eight years, a press release from that office said.

Approximately 4,350 individuals have signed up to serve as judges in the approaching Nov. 8 election, but Yarbrough said that her office ideally needs at least 7,000 judges to adequately cover each open position at polling locations.

Over the course of the last three midterm elections, the office has seen a reduction in poll workers – from 7,530 in 2014, to 7,100 in 2018, to 4,500 who worked in the recent June 2022 Gubernatorial Primary Election.

Election authorities across the nation are grappling with a poll worker shortage.

The Clerk’s Office has 1,439 precincts that will require staffing with poll workers throughout all communities in suburban Cook County.

Election Judges are paid $200 and Polling Place Technicians $365, and the Clerk’s Office provides training for both positions.

Election Judges must be a registered Cook County voter or an eligible college or high school student (16 or older). The Clerk’s Office has also recently initiated partnerships with several community colleges to help recruit college students to serve as judges.



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