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Harris County’s Student Election Clerks Are Part Of A New Generation Of Voters

Hundreds of high school students — ages 16 and up — served as clerks on election night.

Jen Rice/Houston Public Media
Student election clerks at the George R. Brown Convention Center on December 14.

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Alongside poll watchers and election judges, high school students also played an important role on election night, as part of a statewide program to hire student election clerks to help at the polls and the Central Count Station.

Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman said the average age of election clerks is 72 years old, so the program brings a new generation of voters into the process.

For Saturday’s runoff elections, students were on hand until midnight at the George R. Brown Convention Center, unloading 385 election judges’ cars and helping to check in the voting equipment.

"This year was my first year voting, and I voted November 5,” Carver Magnet High School student Siemyone Edgar Jr. said. “The stuff that I've seen – unloading the cars and everything – I think it's really interesting how most people don't really get a chance to see what that process is like, and I'm privileged, I'm very grateful that I was able to see that."

Kristina Nichols, voter logistical coordinator with the Harris County Clerk's office, said on Election Day they had around 280 students working at the polls and another 50 students working at the Central Count Station. Students were paid $10 an hour, but that’s about to go up to $17 an hour for the 2020 primary election.

"It takes more than a handful of people. It takes a village, literally,” Jersey Village High School student Bryce Walker said. “There's a lot of people here today getting one job done. You never think about this type of situation when it comes to voting. You just think you're going to go, vote, leave, and then go on about your day."

To hear from students about their election night experiences, click the player above.

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