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Frequently Asked Questions - High School Poll Workers

No.  High school poll workers are exempt from the laws that govern minors.

No.  High school poll workers are exempt from the laws that govern minors.

Yes.  The State Elections Board encourages municipal clerks to have at least two working together at a polling place. However, high school students may only serve as inspectors if at least one election official at the polling place other that the chief inspector is a qualified elector of this state.

The student is responsible for making his or her own arrangements for transportation to and from the polling place.

The practice varies by municipality.  Some municipalities provide meals.  Most require the election inspector to make arrangements.  This should be discussed with the municipal clerk before election day. 

The student will have the opportunity to perform a number of tasks at the polling place.  These may include:  registering voters, recording voters' names on the voter list, issuing ballots, assisting voters with special needs and counting votes. 

The municipal clerk is responsible for training the student.  The municipal clerk may conduct a special training session just for high school students or may invite students to attend the training sessions for other election inspectors.  The student may also receive instructions and training from the chief inspector on election day at the polling place. 

The municipal clerk has been instructed by the State Elections Board to contact the parent or guardian and the school if the student does not show up at the polling place.  This is a safety consideration.  The parents and the school should be informed if the student is not at the assigned polling place.

A high school student serving as an election inspector is appointed for a specific election, not a two year term. The student may be appointed for more than one election.

A student who is 16 or 17 years of age and who is enrolled in grades 9-12 in a public or private high school and has at least a 3.0 GPA may serve as an election inspector with the approval of the student’s parent or guardian. The municipal clerk must receive written authorization from the student’s parent or guardian for the student to serve for the election for which he or she is appointed.

The school board (or governing body of a private school) may establish criteria for service by a student that does not have a 3.0 GPA. If a pupil does not have at least a 3.0 GPA or equivalent, the municipal clerk shall obtain written certification from the principal of the student’s school that the student meets any criteria established by the school board (or governing body of a private school) for service as an inspector.

Yes.  There are many other activities associated with conducting an election in addition to working at the polling place.  This may be an opportunity for a high school student who is not a citizen to assist the municipal clerk on election day.

Yes.  An election inspector is required to be an eligible elector.  Age, residency and citizenship are requirements to be an elector.  The provision permitting 16 and 17 year old high school students to serve as an election inspector is an exception to the age requirement. 

No.  All election inspectors are required to work at their home polling place.  A municipal clerk may reassign inspectors to another polling place within their municipality to assure adequate staffing.  In practice, this is comonly done.

No.  A municipality may authorize election inspectors to work at different times on election day.  If the municipality permits selection of inspectors to work in shifts, a high school student could work the entire day or one of the shifts authorized by the municipal clerk. 

 

Yes.  A high school student serving as an election inspector may be paid or may volunteer their time.  A recent change in state law permits any individual serving as an election inspector to choose to work without compensation.  A high school student may want to work without pay as part of a community service requirement.  The amount of compensation is determined by the municipality.