Too Young to Vote?: Students Involved in Election 2020 by Working the Polls
I am on the edge of my seat like my fellow Americans wondering how this presidential election will conclude. When you are a teen and hearing all the back and forth on the news, you sit and wonder how you can help others cast their vote.
Students at Kinder High School of Performing and Visual Arts are encouraged to participate in nonpartisan service-learning opportunities, government-based internship programs or research projects. This project aims to engage in sustained, real-world activity to learn how our government works. I chose to sign up for a Harris County Poll Worker shift to experience the presidential election process. The county provides training videos for everyone who has signed up to work these shifts.
One video is called the electronic support specialist training video. That video shows us how to set up the polling station and troubleshoot the laptop. This video teaches us how to greet people coming through the door, sign them in by checking their ID name and address and give them their ticket to cast their vote. The second video is American with Disability Act (ADA) Training, which teaches us how to treat these citizens with respect and not focus on their disabilities but their abilities. I would say we received clear, sraightforward directions on what each poll worker should do.
Because we are in the middle of a pandemic, the CDC recommended that the polling location stations are situated so that everyone can social distance safely. We give out finger covers during the check-in process to cover your finger while pressing the buttons in your booth. Even though the voting machine is sanitized and wiped down, I recommend the voter keep hand sanitizer in their car since you will be touching the door handle in a public building. I also suggest that everyone wears a mask. The polling location workers will all be wearing face masks, but it is recommended (but not required, due to voter suppression laws) that voters wear a mask to the polls.
I am thrilled to experience this opportunity to help voters cast their votes on this 2020 presidential election. I will definitely sign up for future election polling jobs and look forward to casting my vote in the next few years. Please vote; you must be vocal if you are not happy with how a politician handles business in your community. I will see you all at the polls.
Editor's note: See harrisvotes.com for information on voting.
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