There is a new voting system that the whole state of Georgia will use come 2020. It’s not just a ballot marker, but also a printer, which means there is added technology. So, the Board of Elections in Columbia County is teaming up with the Board of Education to help kids get involved and use that extra support.
Greenbrier High School’s Assistant Principle, Lisa Guilbeau, says, “our teachers work hard to make sure that our kids are engaged, and I think the early engagement process is going to create a habit of a lifelong voting for kids.”
It’s a paid work day, and an excused absence, which sounds like a dream for any high schooler… But the board of elections teamed up with the board of education for more than just a day off.
Nancy Gay with the Columbia County Board of Elections, says, “in order to help the current poll workers out, we thought it would be better to have some students involved that mainly would help with the setup and break down of the equipment, and that way their assignment during the election day will be trouble shooting any problems with the equipment.”
Assistant Principle Gilbeau says the students across the district will be a great addition to help with the polls.
“They’re technologically savvy, they’re in foreign language classes in our district, so I look for great things at the polls,” says Gilbeau.
10 kids from each high school can apply and seeing a younger crowd at the polls may encourage the younger generation to go vote.
“It’s like this mind shift, I think, where you go from mobilizing voters to growing voters,” says Gilbeau.
The school board isn’t worried about a lack of applications because of their active political clubs.
“We have the young republicans. We have the young democrats. We have our student government. We have what we call student senators, so my guess is a lot of those kids are going to apply,” says Gilbeau.
The Board of Elections will personally train each student.
“They’ll be fully trained and they will have hands on on setting up the new equipment and it’s going to be a great time,” says Gay.
The first election that the students will be involved in is the Presidential Preference Primary, which is March 24, 2020.