Yolo County Teens Working Polls and Learning About the Election Process

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Young Americans, between the ages of 18 and 24, are the least likely people in the country to vote. But surveys show that once a person registers, they’re twice as likely to go to the polls. With that in mind, Yolo County Clerk Freddie Oakley goes out of her way to involve teenagers in elections by hiring them as poll workers. And we’re not talking about a few symbolic interns. (In Yolo County….) Oakley hires high school seniors who are studying U.S. government. Students poll workers are excused from class on Election Day, and get paid $90 to $105 for their work, just like the other poll workers. And they can expect to answer lots of interesting questions from voters. (And those will include…) Oakley likes the spirit and stamina that students display over a 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. workday at the polls. (“Energy…” But the high school students bring more than youthful enthusiasm to the task. (“In addition, they are…) (en espanol) That’s Brenda Gomez from Winters High School . . . she also works as a cross-age tutor with younger students. Others, like Molly Sundstrom of Davis High School, want to be poll workers because they think voting is, well, kind of exciting. (There’s a rush. . .) Michelle Tracy of Davis High, wants people to see that teenagers care. (not apathetic. . .) Teacher Don Winters of Davis High says the hands on experience leaves a lasting impression on the students. (Don) For Freddie Oakley, hiring student poll workers has a long term payoff as well. (Having worked as poll workers…. They become regular voters.) In Yolo County, I’m Jeff Hudson, KXJZ news.