Teens sought to work the polls

Teens sought to work the polls

A voter signs in at Doty Depot, in Doty Park, to vote in 2017.

The Dorchester County Voter Registration and Elections Office is looking for a few more people interested in working as poll managers for the upcoming primaries in June - and most especially for teens.

Executive Director Todd Billman said the office is nearly at capacity for regular poll managers, but he's still looking for another 30 to 40 teens, ages 16 or 17, to work.

"I really think it's important we start to get the younger generation more involved in the electoral process," he said.

State law allows one student poll manager for every two regular poll managers.

Billman said he also still needs some people to work in the more rural areas, like St. George, Harleyville, Reevesville and Ridgeville.

Regular poll managers must be at least 18 years old and registered to vote in the county or a contiguous county.

Although it's sometimes to a struggle to get poll managers, particularly for primaries, Billman said there's been a lot of interest from the public this year.

Anyone wishing to work the polls must do the training before each election they work. Election Day is long - about 6 a.m. to about 7:30 p.m. for a primary and probably later for a general election, and workers are asked to bring everything they'll need for the day, including lunch, snacks and any medications. The pay - which covers the training and Election Day - is $135.

Billman said about 75 percent of the student poll managers end up working as regular poll managers when they get older. But more important to him, he said, is that they see the value of the system and turn into voters themselves.

For more information about becoming a poll worker, go to the county website at dorchestercountysc.gov/vote.

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