High school students working polls on Election Day in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Did you know that about a quarter of the poll workers in San Francisco are high school students? The Department of Elections has hired 600 of them. Each student has to be at least 16 years old.

For 18 year-old Rebecca Cavanaugh, the midterm elections will be a lasting memory. It'll be the first time she votes and she'll be spending the day as a poll worker at City Hall.

"I'm working for my city and I get to be a part of the process that I always hear about and see it from a different perspective," explained Cavanaugh.

Of the 600 students hired, 500 of them are from the San Francisco Unified School District. They begin their day at 6 a.m. and stay until 9 p.m.

"They're there to serve voters, having voters sign in, issuing voter ballots, collecting the ballot, making sure they offer assistance to voters," said Mayank Patel, the Division Manager of Poll Works at the San Francisco Department of Elections.

Patel was introduced to the program when he was 16. He enjoyed it so much that he decided to eventually work for the department of elections.
"They also learn the elections process. It's great for their resume, it's also good for their college application," added Patel.

Nathan Tam, a 17-year-old student at Lincoln High said it was his economics teacher who encouraged him to be a poll worker.

"At least for me and my peers, I know that, we know that this is something that is going to affect us in the future and that's why we're interested in it and working the poll tomorrow," said Tam.

Students get a stipend of $142, and an extra $10 if they are bi-lingual.

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