Best Practices in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Poll Workers
Increasing Youth Engagement through Student Poll Worker Program
The San Mateo elections office is engaging student poll workers through a program directed at the high school level. Serving as a poll worker at a young age creates a strong core value of lifetime public service in elections. San Mateo County Elections initiated their Student Democracy Program during the June 2006 gubernatorial primary election. Over the past 16 years, the program has partnered with over 20 High Schools, serving 4,873 students ages 17.5 to 25. Students accepted into the program, known as Student Democracy Ambassadors, assist voters in their assigned Vote Center from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Election Day. They receive a stipend payment of $280 for their 3-hour mandatory training and election day work. Through the program, students have the opportunity to actively participate in the electoral process, allowing them to develop a sense of civic responsibility and serve their community while fostering an appreciation of the voting process.