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Students participate in election process

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Students participate in election process

art by Audrey Wang

art by Audrey Wang

art by Audrey Wang

Mackenzie Hines-Wilson, Opinions writer

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The St. Louis County Board of Elections allows high school students ranging from ages 15 to 18 years to complete student election judge training in order to work at the polls on Election Day. Sixty-nine Ladue High School students were trained by St. Louis County Board of Election commissioners Oct. 13 on proper attire, punctuality, correct conduct and job duties.
“The St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners prepare us to work as a team with adults to set up and operate a polling location,” senior and student election judge Michael Burke said. “We need to be trained, so we can be an asset to the team and do our job at the poll properly.”
Working at the polls during an election veers from a normal high school day. Students must interact with different members of the community and work with difficult machinery.
“Once we open, I greet all the voters and ask them for a valid form of ID and help them get their voter tickets [using] a special iPad called a Poll Pad and a receipt printing machine that prints all the tickets,” Burke said. “A Republican and a Democrat adult has to sign the iPad, then we print the voter ticket and give it to them. Then, at the end of the day, I help take down the polling machines, signs and other posters we hung up.”
When signing up to be election judges, students over the age of 16 can choose to be paid for their service or simply use the experience as volunteer service hours. No matter how students choose to be compensated for their time, they end up with a unique opportunity underneath their belts.
“Even though all student workers are under 18, it’s really important that we work at the polls because it’s a first-hand experience unlike any other,” Burke said. “We get the chance to see and be a part of our nation’s democratic process.”

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Students participate in election process