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Garfield County clerk seeks high school election judges

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colorado ” Garfield County is turning toward the younger generation for help in the upcoming November elections.

Garfield County Clerk Jean Alberico said that the county is utilizing student judges from area high schools to help with the upcoming presidential elections.

“It’s been allowed by statute for years,” Alberico said. “But we’ve just not used the student judges before as other counties have.”



Students have to be at least 16 years old and have to be recommended to the county clerk by a teacher or advisor. Being that the election is on a Tuesday, students will also be excused from classes and will have to have a signed permission agreement from their parents for them to be able to work the election.

Alberico has been in contact with all of the county’s high schools, from Carbondale to Parachute, and is hoping for a good turnout of students taking advantage of this educational opportunity.



“There have been several people who have shown interest in doing it this year,” Alberico said. “We are hoping to have at least one student, if not two, at each of the polling places.”

In all there will be 10 polling places throughout Garfield County, allowing for 20 students to participate. Deadline for interested students to apply for the program is Oct. 1, so there is time to allow for proper training on what duties will be performed during the Nov. 4 elections. Two weeks prior to the elections, for all the judges including the student judges from each polling place, the county is going to hold a mock election in preparation.

“We are going to do a mock election at that point just to run through each of the polling places to see what is the best way to set up the equipment and then give the judges different scenarios, so we can see how they will deal with those situations,” Alberico said.

Student judges are paid as real judges for their work, but besides the monetary gain, they also gain education on the election process, according to Alberico. And they also help out Alberico’s staff tremendously, too.

“It’s helpful to us because the kids are not scared by electronics,” Alberico said. “And just having some younger people around is a good way to expose them to the community they live in as a citizen, and I think the older judges like working with the younger people.”

The student judges don’t have to be legally old enough to vote, 18 years old. However, Alberico pointed out that high-school students who turn 18 before or on Nov. 4 are still eligible to vote in this year’s election. They still have to register on or before Oct. 6 even if they are not 18 by that date, in order to vote in this year’s election.

“We often have this happen, where people don’t realize that even if they haven’t turned 18 by October 6, (the deadline for voter registration) they still have to register so they can vote in this upcoming election,” Alberico said.

Voter registration information can be accessed by visiting the Garfield County website at http://www.garfield-county.com and follow the 2008 election news link at the bottom of the page.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

jgardner@postindependent.com

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO


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