Here Comes The Judge – Is It You!?
By Trish Gilbert, Saguache County Clerk & Recorder
Student Election Judge Program
Are you interested in shaping your community? Voters elect our leaders and governing bodies whose decisions influence events in the state of Colorado, the United States and, as recent events have proven, the world. Student Election Judges share firsthand in those events on election day assisting voters as they exercise their constitutional right marking their ballot choices for candidates and issues. Contact the Saguache County Clerk’s Team today to find out how to be a part of this grass roots lesson in democracy.
The State Legislature enacted legislation that allows Juniors and Seniors in High School to work at polling places as Student Election Judges. State Statute makes the following provisions:
- Student Election Judges need not be registered electors. There are no party affiliation requirements for Student Election Judges.
- Be at least 16 years old and a Junior or Senior “in good standing” at a public or private high school at the time of the election at which they plan to work;
- Have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian;
- Have the approval of their school’s principal or designated administrator;
- Be U.S. citizens by the date of the election at which they are scheduled to work;
- Be willing to serve – knowing that Election Day runs from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. – or longer;
- Be physically and mentally able to perform the duties of an Election Judge;
- Attend a mandatory Election Judge class prior to each election at which they work;
- Never have been convicted of election fraud, other election offenses or fraud; and
- Not be related to any candidate on the ballot in the precinct where they are working.
- All applicants must have a Social Security number, which is required on the application. Students cannot be paid without a Social Security number.
- Even before you turn 18 you can register to vote, and can take part in the election process.
- You will be paid.
- Practical experience serving your community.
- Election Judge experience looks great on a resume or college application.
- Take part in a rewarding activity while learning about the democratic process!
- As a student election judge, you will serve alongside other adult election judges at the VSPC (Voter Service and Polling Center). Some of the duties student election judges assist with are:
- Checking-in voters at the polling places
- Assisting electors in casting their ballots.
- Serve as mail-in, mail ballot or early voting judges.
Student Election Judges will be compensated for working Election Day. Additionally, they may receive payment for attending the mandatory Election Judge Class.
Since its inception in 2000, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Student Election Judges Program has been a great success for students and a bonus for the county election officials and educators who have participated in the program. During the 2012 Presidential Election hundreds of students around the state joined the ranks of adult Election Judges working cooperatively setting up polling locations, processing voters, ballots and tallying the votes cast.
Student Election Judges will be appointed by and will serve at the discretion of the local Election Official (County Clerk).
Ultimately, we hope it motivates these students to become active voters in their communities and election judge resources for future elections.
Our team would like to give a shout out to Jody Abeyta for recruiting two students from Mountain Valley High School, Samantha Clark and Azlyn DeHerrera, who will be working with us as election judges for the General Election. Great job Jody and ladies!!