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Board of Elections Launches Youth Poll Worker Program


The Cayuga County Board of Elections has launched its youth poll worker program.

Weedsport student Marlie Chapman became the first 17-year-old in the county to work at a polling site during the June 25 primaries. This allowed her to gain valuable insight into the democratic process while also serving her community.

“I very much enjoyed being part of something so important. I learned a lot of things I wouldn’t have if I didn’t participate and (it) gave me insight as I become an adult,” stated Chapman.

Weedsport Principal Sherri Monell expressed support for the program.

“We know our students are focused, engaged, and bright,” said Monell. “This program is one way we can show their skills to the larger community while fulfilling an important civic role.”

Typically poll workers must be 18 or older but state law allows 17-year-old high school students to work with the permission of their school and parents. Under the program, youth poll workers receive the same training and take on the same responsibilities as their adult counterparts.

“These students are like any other poll worker in terms of training, responsibility, and expectations except they are under 18 and enrolled as a student at a local high school,” said Democratic Commissioner of Elections Keith Batman.

Republican John Commissioner John Camardo called the program a win-win.

“From our perspective, in elections, this is a win-win. The students get work experience, firsthand knowledge of our electoral process and are paid for their work,” adds Republican Commissioner John Camardo.

Any 17-year-old student interested in becoming a poll worker for the November 5 general election should reach out to their school.

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