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Election Judge Told He Won’t Get Paid; Officials Say It Was A Mistake

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Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Northwest Side man who served as an election judge at the polls last week said he was later notified he wouldn’t be paid for his day of work, but an elections official said it’s all a misunderstanding — and a mistake.

For five years, George Zutaut said he’s worked as an election judge in the 39th Ward for years, and he’s gotten paid every time, until now.

Soon after the primary last Tuesday, Zutaut was told he wouldn’t be paid, because of a bureaucratic mistake.

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“I’ve never had trouble in years past. I just do whatever the scheduler tells me to do: Come in, work your hours and then go home,” he said. “If there was some mistake there, I’m sort of being held liable for an internal mistake, and I’m out all these hours.”

Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen said, technically, Zutaut wasn’t needed at the polling place where he worked and the election judge who called him in shouldn’t have. But he said that shouldn’t make a difference for Zutaut, since he did work at the polls.

“There was absolutely no need for the judge to serve, but given the history of service, we’ll definitely honor his service and compensate him,” Allen said.

That means Zutaut will be paid about $120 for his work at the polling place.

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