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  • Yonglin Chen

Prime Time Election Time

In recent years, youth have been encouraged to partake in the democratic process of voting. Now of course we know that we’re supposed to be eighteen and older in order to cast that one very special ballot, so until then, it seems like we’re just useless until then, right? No. California happens to be one of those special states that cater to high schoolers that wants to be part of the elections.

I just so happen to be one of the high school poll workers for this June’s presidential primary election. This high school poll working program has been going on for a few years now, and it was made known that San Francisco teens make up a good fraction of the poll workers. I think I recall the number to be in the hundreds, but in my defense, it was eight o’clock. Cut me some slack here. Before taking the crucial role of a poll worker, everybody needs to attend a training class to learn what we need to do on election day.

After shuffling into the 8:30AM class at a City Hall on a Sunday, we sleepy teens and the quiet aged clerks walk stiffly through the metal detectors. When the security guards ignored the person even after the alarm hesitantly echoed through the halls, we just stood awkwardly off to the side until someone came to collect us. From there, we grabbed our manuals and read page 37 as instructed. We then sat through a presentation with oddly loud transitions from some grey-haired dude, Barney. Presentations on monitor screens that made us crank our heads to the left weren’t all. We took an intermission from the listening and did some hands-on machine set up. Now we definitely know how to prop up the tables and ballot-eating monster on the day of the election. Well, we can always go back to do more machine assembling if our attention spans live up to the stereotypes.

The classmate next to me obviously would have preferred if I was more attentive when they read the instructions out aloud. But let’s be honest, at least I actually touched the thing. While we sat through the dreadful morning class, the instructor constantly reminded us that they are in need of hormonal humans on election day. With summer peeking out of its spaghetti straps and cargo shorts, teenagers are bouncing off to vacation. For once, the government is asking for help. Completely forgetting the deadline, they are still looking for high schoolers to put on the big hat. The poll centers need all the help they can get and they are especially obsessed with bilinguals. The primaries on June 7th is estimated to be a busy day for us poll workers.

Now the primaries are all about choosing the favorite out of your party and having them run during the presidential elections in November. So, this is very important if you care for the country’s well being...or just the face that you’d be sure to see a lot of in the upcoming four years.

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