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This posting will appear in English only, because it addresses high schoolers in the U.S. only.

Dieser Beitrag nur in englischer Sprache, da er nur Hochschüler in den USA anspricht.

Last night, I was honored to be invited to participate in a Facebook live session hosted by Dr. Belinda Wilkerson (Steps to the Future) to speak about a program that our local Board of Election has: the Student Election Assistant. Side note: if you have a college bound teenager in your household, check out Dr. B’s website!

Every election precinct in our county is staffed by volunteers on Election Day; most volunteers have been doing this for a long time and are committed to the proper administration of elections.

A few years ago, a program was initiated in North Carolina allowing high school students (17 years of age or older) to help! Here are the requirements:

* Participants have to be 17 years old or older
* They must reside in the County in which they wish to participate
* They have to be enrolled in school
* They need permission from their parent (guardian) and from their school

And following are the benefits:

* This is a PAID opportunity!
* Looks great on a resume and/or college application
* Excused absence from school (in most high schools)
* Real world business experience.
(this is just to name a few!)

And here is how it works:
An interested student would contact their local Board of Elections Office (if you are in North Carolina, click here). In Cumberland County, you will be asked to complete this form; (make sure that the email address you provide is a good one and one you check frequently).

You will be contacted (via email) in order to schedule your training session(s). After training you are assigned to a precinct; usually the precinct in your own neighborhood – the one where your parents, neighbors and friends vote. Then, on Election Day (this year that is November 3rd, 2020) you will report to your assigned precinct at 5:30am (yep, that early!). Polls open at 6:30am and do not close until 7:30pm. After that, comes paperwork and packing up – then everyone goes home….that can be as early as 8:30pm or it can be later. It is a VERY long day, but for me it always flew by! I got to see my friends and neighbors all day and I got to make some new ones….all while doing something worthwhile and getting paid too!

I know that this is a long post, but let me add some personal thoughts/observations: most poll workers are retirees, mainly because elations take place on a Tuesday and that demographic has that time available. While all of them are troopers and work really, really hard I have found that the days where we have Student Assistants are easier, better and more fun!

Young people are more computer literate than most of us, hence faster. They infuse vitality and humor into the day and they are valued members of the day’s team.

For them, it is valuable, real world experience where they get to interact with not only their friends and relatives but also members of the public that they do not know in a business like setting – great experience for the future!

As mentioned before, being able to add this to a college application or job application gives one a little edge over other applicants.

And last (but definitely not least) what other job do you know of where a teenager can make $140+ for one days work?

Truth of the matter is, we need you! So, come spend the day with us making democracy happen!