County of Sonoma, California
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Student Poll Worker Program

The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office operates a successful Student Poll Worker Program. California State law allows eligible students to be appointed to serve as poll workers in a polling place on Election Day. High school teachers and counselors are encouraged to talk with their students about this unique "behind-the-scenes" view of elections, and nominate qualified students for this program. Students gain invaluable experience as Election Officials. They receive "hands-on" experience and training in elections administration, and gain an appreciation for the importance of public service and the significance of the democratic process. What's more, students will receive a stipend of $100 for participating in the program. Schools may wish to consider this a fundraising opportunity as well!

What people are saying about the Student Precinct Officer Program

  • "The students were an asset to our board."

  • "It is so nice to see young people involved."

  • "I think there should be a student on every board, especially when there are older people on the board."

  • "The student was so helpful that our Inspector took off his election pin and pinned it on the student."

  • "We made it a class project."

  • "I was able to earn my community service time."

  • "I plan to work at the polls again!"

  • "My dad is going to work with me next time!"

  • "Cool! I got paid, too!"

To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 16 years old on or before the Election Day of service
  • Be a United States citizen on or before the Election Day of service
  • Be a student in good standing, attending a public or private secondary educational institution
  • Possess a GPA of at least 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

Note: Students are not required to be registered to vote in order to be part of this program.

Students who participate in the program must complete the following assignments:

  • Attend a 2-hour training class prior to Election Day
  • Become a member of the "Precinct Board" (with other poll workers) and participate in the operation of the polling place
  • Perform duties assigned by the Inspector (the "lead" poll worker), including (but not limited to) the following: locate voter names on rosters; obtain voter signatures; provide simple instruction to voters; issue, receive, and deposit ballot card(s); help set up and clean up the polling place.

Note: Election Day hours are long: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. "Split shifts" may be arranged; contact the Registrar of Voters Office for details.

If you are a teacher and want to nominate eligible students, complete the following steps:

Additional Information

To obtain more information about the Student Poll Worker Program, contact the Registrar of Voters Office or request information by email to rov-polls@sonoma-county.org.

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