Missoula County needs 800 election judges for the upcoming primary and general elections, but as of Thursday, only 500 have come forward.

Elections Supervisor Bradley Seaman said there was a surge of new judges who signed up just before this interview.

“Here’s where we really need to  make things happen,” Seaman said. “Missoula County has the most polling places in the entire state, which requires us to recruit the most election judges. We always have a big push to get 800 people because it’s our goal to make sure that voters in Missoula get the experience they’re accustomed to, so now’s when we need people to step up and say that they’ll serve our county.”

Seaman said the job is important, but does not require a full-time commitment.

“We have training that runs throughout the month of February,” he said. “Staring on the 1st and running through the 28th we offer basic judge training, and you will be paid for taking the training. You’ll receive $26 for the training, and then we need people to serve for the June 5th primary and the November 6th general election. Those days can be long, as the polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m., so we need the judges there a bit before and a bit after the polls close. We pay minimum wage, so I like to call it paid public service.”

Seaman said the best way to sign up to be an election judge is to visit Missoula election judge dot com, or by calling the Missoula County Elections Office at 258-4751.