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Mikva Student Judge Program

February 26, 2019: Chicago Municipal Election

We are currently recruiting students interested in signing up to serve as election judges!

If you have any questions, please check out the FAQs below.

Teacher FAQs
How can I get involved as a teacher?

Complete our program application!

You can also use our curricula* by registering for an account on our Mikva Teacher Portal. Teachers can use this website as a space to share resources and best practices using the curriculum. We will also post additional lessons periodically.

*Teachers that participate in the Student Judges or Elections in Action program receive a coupon code to cover the cost of that program’s curriculum.

What is my responsibility as a teacher serving as my school’s student judge coordinator?

You are our partner on the ground in your school! Your main responsibility is to help us recruit as many students as possible to help reach our goal of 2,000 students (per election). That means you will be spreading the word about the program, explaining the expectations to students, helping them fill out the application, and working with the Mikva coordinator to follow up on any missing paperwork, etc. You will also be essential in ensuring students that have applied are in good standing. We do this via a principal approval form that will be sent out after the application closes.

What if there are multiple student judge coordinators at my school?

It is up to you to decide how you want to coordinate with your fellow student judge coordinators.
In terms of stipend, the stipend is per school so you would also have to decide with one another how you want that to be split.

Where do I find a find a copy of the consent form?

All consent forms are completed online at so please instruct students to have their parent/guardians fill them out electronically. (This can be done on a desktop computer OR on a phone.) If you have students who have absolutely no internet access to complete this form, you can email to request a printable pdf of the form.

Does the dashboard have live data?

No. The link refreshes every five minutes but data needs to be manually fed into the back-end and that happens as we receive data downloads from the Board of Elections. The dashboard will have a timestamp on it so you know when it was last updated.

Where do I find a copy of the principal approval form?

These are specific to each school so they won’t be available until after the application closes. You will receive a separate email about this when it is available.

I have a question that is not on this list – what do I do?

Email us at A few months before each election through Election Day, you can expect a response in 48 hours (not counting weekends).

If you have a more urgent question or would prefer to use our chat, you can do so below:

Lastly, you can leave a voicemail at 312-471-2000

Student FAQs
What is the Student Judge Program?

The Chicago Board of Elections and Mikva Challenge have teamed up to provide one of the most robust student judge programs in the country. Through this program, 1,600 high school juniors and seniors from over 50 schools learn about the voting process and serve as election judges at polling places across the city each Election Day.

Can I serve as a student election judge?

In order to serve as a student judge, you must:

  • Be a current high school junior or senior
  • Have a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and be in good standing
  • Be a U.S. citizen by Election Day
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English
How do I apply?

In order to apply, you must:

  • Visit and fill out a student judge application.
  • After you complete the application, log back in to have a parent sign the permission slip.
  • Choose a training date.
  • Attend training.
  • Serve at your assigned polling location on Election Day from 5 a.m. – close (generally around 8-9pm). Note: YOU MUST BE ABLE TO SERVE FOR THE ENTIRE DAY/EVE.
There are 2-3 elections this year. If I sign up once am I set for all three?
  • Almost! You only have to complete the whole application / submit the consent form one time. A few weeks after the November election you will receive an email asking if you want to serve again in February. All you have to do in order to serve again is reply to that email.
Who is the student judge coordinator at my school?

Go here to check who the student judge coordinators are for 2018-19. We are constantly updating this list so blanks can mean there is no coordinator or the page hasn’t been updated. Feel free to contact us at for more information about those cases. If there is a teacher/staff at your school interested in being the coordinator, please have them contact us.

Does serving as an election judge count as an absence from school?
  • No. Section 13-4 of Illinois law (10 ILCS 5/13-4) specifies that “Students appointed as election judges under this subsection shall not be counted as absent from school on the day they serve as judges.” After the election, we will send a list of students from your school who served to your principal to confirm that you should not be counted absent.
When is training?

For the 2019 Municipal Election, trainings will run Sunday, February 17th through Saturday, February 23rd. You will be able to sign up once you have been assigned to a polling place. Note: If you attended training in the fall of 2018, you do NOT need to attend training again.

I signed up for a training date but can’t make it. What should I do?

You must attend training to receive your training stipend and to be prepared for Election Day. You are allowed to change your training date once and only once by logging into your account.

I was a student judge last year/in the past. Do I have to go to training again?

We recommend you attend training again to refresh your memory on your duties and how to operate the machinery. In addition, the Board of Elections is constantly improving their processes and laws can change from year to year so attending training is how you can learn about any changes. Plus, remember: if you do not attend training, you will earn $50 less for your participation.

When do I find out which polling location I am assigned to?

You will be emailed by the Board of Election with your assignment. (Remember to check your spam folder too if you notice you have not gotten any emails from them.) You can ALSO login to your account at at anytime and find the information there.

When do I get paid?

You are paid $60 for training and $140 for Election Day for a total of $200. You must serve on Election Day to be paid. If you attend training and then don’t show up on Election Day, you will not be paid.

Payment is issued directly from the Board of Elections and will be mailed to the home address you entered in It may take up to six weeks after Election Day to receive your check. If you have still not received it at that point, please call the Board of Elections.

How do I look up precincts?

This map is interactive and will be the easiest to navigate.

In addition, you can look up precincts by ward on a static map here.

Do I still need a parent to sign the consent form if I am 18 or over?

Yes. You need parental approval to be a high school student Judge, regardless of age.

Where do I find the principal approval form?

The student judge coordinator at your school will handle this so you don’t need to worry about it. If you don’t have a student judge coordinator at your school, you will receive an email from the Mikva coordinator ( No need to email us separately about this.

Where is the parental consent form?

The consent form is on your dashboard. It’s on the last tab labeled “consent form” and has a green button that makes it pop up when you click it. Check out this screenshot:

I forgot my password and can’t log back in!

Go to and enter your email. Click login. Then click “forgot password” and follow instructions.

Do I need to print out my confirmation email for training?

Nope! You can pull it up on your phone to show at the check-in table.

Where is training?

Training is downtown at Block 37. Block 37 is a mall bordered by State St, Washington St, Dearborn St And Randolph St. Once you enter the building (from Dearborn or State) you will see signs directing you to training on the second floor in Room C. (You can also enter the mall directly from the Washington Blue Line stop or Lake Red Line stop.)

I have a question that is not on this list – what do I do?

Email us at A few months before the election through election day, you can expect a response in 48 hours (not counting weekends).

If you have a more urgent question or would prefer to use our chat, you can do so below:

Lastly, you can leave a voicemail at 312-471-2000


of Mikva alumni encourage their friends and family to be politically engaged, vs. only 35% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


teachers participate in Mikva Challenge programs across the country.


of Mikva alumni are registered voters, vs. only 53% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


of Mikva alumni continue to volunteer in their communities, vs. only 36% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


students campaigned during the 2015-16 Election Season


Mikva students serve as election judges each election cycle


students from 117 schools nationwide presented speeches and/or worked on civic action projects


young people served in the Chicagoland area, California and Washington DC

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