Even though they're not 18 yet, some Brookline teens are getting involved in this year's election--and you may see them at the polls.
The Town Clerk's Office has taken on a group of 16- and 17-year-old Brookline teen volunteers to work the polls for the Nov. 6 election. According to a press release sent via the Brookline League of Women Voters, a Brookline High School teacher teamed up with the League to get these teens involved in the political process.
The seven students named in the release, Gabrielle Bueno, Pema Doma, Iona Feldman, Daniel Krane, Kelvin Mak, Ayan Noyan, and Metin Toksov-Exley, should be at some of the polling places Brookline residents will be heading to on Nov. 6.
"Legislation written by the Massachusetts League in 2008 allows up to two 16 & 17 year olds to serve as poll workers in each polling place provided they meet certain requirements," the press release explains.
Below is the full press release via the Brookline League of Women Voters:
Brookline Injects a Youthful Spirit at the Polls for Election Day
The Brookline Town Clerk’s office has taken a proactive attitude in their effort to recruit young poll workers to be at the polls on Election Day 2012. Thanks to efforts by the Town Clerk, Pat Ward, Assistant Town Clerk, Linda Golburgh, Jenny Blair, government and history teacher at Brookline High School, and the League of Women Voters of Brookline, 16 & 17 year olds have volunteered to be poll workers on November 6.
Poll workers provide an invaluable service to the community by helping to run elections and thus strengthen our democracy. Legislation written by the Massachusetts League in 2008 allows up to two 16 & 17 year olds to serve as poll workers in each polling place provided they meet certain requirements.
There are often shortages of volunteers to serve as poll workers, whose average age is usually in the 70s. With the increasing prevalence of electronic voting machines, it is especially important to have younger poll workers who are familiar with technology. Currently about 41 states allow high school students to serve as poll workers or election judges.
These student poll workers attend training sessions with local election officials before Election Day and learn how elections are run and how to help voters at the polls. They meet community service requirements or receive course credit, and they encourage and inspire other young people to get involved.
Jenny Blair stated, “My government students, Gabrielle Bueno, Pema Doma, Iona Feldman, Daniel Krane, Kelvin Mak, Ayan Noyan, and Metin Toksov-Exley, are really excited to have the opportunity to work with other community members in Brookline at the polls and watch the voting process firsthand instead of just reading and talking about it in the classroom. I hope that this experience will encourage them to stay actively involved in the electoral process throughout their lives.”
“Young people are the future leaders of this country and starting early to learn about the most fundamental part of our democracy – voting – may start these young people on the road to public service, “ according to Betsy Munzer, Chair of the League of Women Voters of Brookline.
Watch for student poll workers in your precinct on Election Day. They will be wearing special blue League of Women Voters’ t-shirts with the word vote on the front in many languages, and on the back the important message: Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport.