Student Poll Workers
Election Day Student Poll Worker Program
The Election Day LIVE poll worker recruitment program enables 16 and 17-year-old students a “live” experience of democracy in action on Election Day. This program provides an opportunity for students to learn about democracy, to actively participate in their community and work to support free and fair elections in Indiana.
The implementation of this program requires a faculty liaison, which helps share information and recruits students for this invaluable and interactive experience to learn about democracy and elections. Furthermore, this program encourages civic engagement and promotes an interest in local, state and federal government.
The primary responsibilities for the faculty liaison are introducing and promoting the program in the school, recommending students to the application process, to disburse and check all applications are completed, verify that students are approved to miss a day of class, and finally send the completed applications to the election official.
Statute, Qualifications, and Policy
Current Indiana law allows 16 and 17-year-old high school students to work as poll workers on Election Day, under the following provisions: The individual:
- Is sixteen (16) or seventeen (17) years of age
- Is a citizen of the United States and a resident of the county in which they wish to work on Election Day
- Has a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
- Has the written approval of their principal or, if the student is educated at home, the approval of the individual responsible for the education of the student.
- Has the approval of their parent or guardian.
- Must satisfactorily complete any training required by the county election board.
- Is otherwise eligible to serve as a precinct officer under IC 3-6-6-7.
(These requirements are detailed in IC 3-6-6-39 for your reference.)
Let’s Get Started
There are two main parties who will work together to coordinate efforts for Election Day LIVE, the county contact—a representative from the county clerk’s office, county political parties, or county election board who oversees the program from a county level, and the faculty liaison—a faculty member from the high school who oversees the program at their respective school. After being selected as a school’s faculty liaison, the faculty liaison should meet with the county contact to set time lines for implementation. This packet includes documents to assist with this process, including:
- Program description to be handed to selected students with application
- Student application/permission form
The role of the faculty liaison is simple, but vital to ensuring quality students are recommended from each school. This program allows the selection process to be at the discretion of the teacher, and requires students to have a grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. We hope that the faculty liaison recommends only students who would contribute to and benefit from a day of helping Hoosiers exercise their right to vote. There is no limit to the number of students that can be recommended, as long as they all fit the qualifications listed above.
The faculty liaison will explain the program, ask other members of the faculty to present the program to their students and make announcements to students about the program. The faculty liaison will ensure that selected students complete Election Day LIVE applications and receive permission from a parent/guardian and make sure applications are signed by the school’s principal.
When completed, the faculty liaison will then forward the applications to the county contact.
Faculty liaisons should remind students of the importance of their responsibility. Additionally, clarify with the students that they are required to be present during the entire duration of Election Day, should arrange their own transportation and should inform all necessary parties of his or her absence on Election Day.
After Election Day, the county contact will notify the faculty liaison with the names of students who participated in case the school wishes to honor these students by whatever means deemed fit. After working the polls, we suggest that students might deliver a presentation to their peers about their experience to encourage the successful continuation of the program.
The county contact will provide feedback forms for the students and faculty liaison to give comment on the experience. Finally, return the feedback forms to the county contact.