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To Boost Poll Worker Recruitment for the August 2 Primary, Secretary LaRose Provides Guidance on High School Student Participation

Seventeen-Year-Old Rising High School Seniors Are Now Eligible for Ohio’s Youth at the Booth Initiative

Ohio’s August 2 Primary Election for state legislative and party central committee candidates officially kicked off on Friday, June 17, when military and overseas ballots were mailed out to Ohioans stationed or working abroad. Because Ohio will hold two primaries roughly three months apart this year, the challenge of recruiting the poll workers needed to administer the August 2 primary is expected to be more demanding.

On Thursday, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose helped expand Ohio’s poll worker recruitment efforts by notifying the state’s 88 boards of elections that seventeen-year-olds who have completed their junior year in high school are eligible to serve as poll workers in the August 2 primary. Prior to the guidance issued yesterday, there was ambiguity as to whether a student was considered a senior upon the immediate conclusion of their junior year or upon entering their senior year in the fall. Yesterday’s guidance provides the boards with an additional option available to meet their poll worker needs.

“It's summer break, and thousands of rising seniors are enjoying some time off before their final year of high school begins,” said LaRose. “We’d love to see these young voters-to-be get a head start on civic engagement, learn firsthand how secure and accessible Ohio‘s elections are, put some spending money in their pocket, and add a unique experience to their college application.”

Under Ohio’s Youth at the Booth program, students will earn at least $100-$150 for their time. They may also be eligible for community service hours, extra credit in school, and get a boost to their college applications.
Further, civic participation provides hands-on learning, fosters future civic involvement, and improves the elections process. As part of the guidance, boards of elections have been encouraged to work with local schools to develop a recruitment program for these students.

Learn more about Youth at the Booth, and discover additional creative and expansive efforts to increase poll worker recruitment by visiting VoteOhio.gov/DefendDemocracy.

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