Williamson County hiring teens for election

County hiring teens to help work elections

With the highly contested presidential election this year, Williamson County Election officials are expecting a record turnout at the polls.

They may see as many as 300,000 registered voters, the most they’ve ever seen.

So they’re working now to beef up the polling staff and turning to teenagers to help.

East View High School History teacher Julie Sammons said the election has been a hot topic among her students this year.

"They have very strong opinions for this election, more so than I've seen before," said Sammons.

It’s students, like in Sammons' class, Williamson County is looking to recruit.

Elections Administrator Christopher Davis said they typically hire between 500 and 600 election clerks, but this year want more like 700 to 800 clerks.

"It doesn't get any bigger than what we're going to be seeing in November," said Davis.

So they're turning to teenagers to help out.

East View High School junior Joana Carrillo has worked the polls before.

"There wasn't a lot of people, but I did get to help and that was cool," said Carrillo.

Williamson County polling locations now use lap tops to check in voters. Just one of the many pieces of technology Davis said teenagers easily know how to use.

"These student election clerks are like a fish to water with it," said Davis.

To become an election worker, students have to fill out an application by the end of September and be at least 16-years-old.

On election day they get an excused absence from school and will be paid for their work.

But Sammons feels the students will take away a lot more.

"We talk about what the voting process is like anyway and they haven't experienced it yet, and so it's not as interesting when I'm talking about when I voted, this is what we did, so I think this is a really great thing for them to do,” said Sammons. 

"It sounds boring but it actually really isn’t because it's real life," said Carrillo.

"Most importantly they become involved in the process, and ideally they become voters," said Davis.

Davis hopes they will continue to stay involved in the process, and help with future elections.

If you want to be a poll worker, you can find the application here.

Don't forget: October 11 is the last day to register.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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