- Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

MONTICELLO, Ill. (AP) - Although many high school students in central Illinois aren’t legally allowed to vote yet, dozens will serve as election judges at the polls this Election Day.

In Illinois, junior or senior high school students are eligible to be election judges if they have a 3.0 GPA, have permission from a parent or guardian and their high school principal, and go through training. The teens can be particularly helpful because much of the voting process is now technology-based and older election judge sometimes have trouble, according to Piatt County Clerk Colleen Kidd.

“I’ve been waiting a long time to vote, and it’s something I really look forward to doing one day,” said Haydn Lambert, a junior at Monticello High School. “So this has made the whole process more comfortable, and I can have a certain sense of pride in the process knowing I’ve taken part in it.”

Piatt County is enlisting eight student judges for the first time this year, The News-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1ptNPG5 ) reported. Other counties, such as Champaign, Ford and Vermilion, have been using student judges for years.

Champaign County is allowing 55 students from several local high schools to serve as student election judges, according to Matt Grandone, director of training for the county clerk’s office.



The participating teens receive a small stipend for their civic service and learn about the election process.

“When I heard about this opportunity, I thought it would be great to get our students involved,” said Doug Kunde, a social studies teacher at Monticello. “It lets them look at voting in a whole new way and really see the importance of it. They can be a part of the system and see how good we have it as Americans.”

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Information from: The News-Gazette, https://www.news-gazette.com

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