Students participate in democracy, volunteer as election judges


David S. Castillo

David Castillo volunteers as an election judge.

   It is not often that an election with this much controversy and drama comes around, and many students have taken the opportunity to become a judge of this year’s divisive election. The task of an election judge is to help aid in the process of voting and getting registered to vote, as well as to help make the overall process as smooth and frictionless as possible. 

   “There are many duties to do as an election judge,” said David Castillo, senior, who got the idea to volunteer from his government teacher, Mr. Brian Maier. “I was a greeter or guide, and as people would come in they would commonly have questions of where to register and what forms of identification are needed and other things as well. We also had to look out for poll watchers, people trying to sway others towards the different political parties.”

   The 2020 election has caused many concerns about voter fraud and caused a large divide between different political parties. The election judges were required to showcase what political party they identified with on their name tag to show that there was a diverse group of people working at the polls.

   “The name tag was for the general public,” said Zania Harris, junior, “so they knew it was an even balance.”

   Students from all over volunteered, and for different reasons. Many students have been a witness to the problems facing America, and this caused them to want to help.

   “I wanted to volunteer because I wanted to be a part of the election after seeing all the things that have been happening this year,” said Harris, “and since I can’t vote, I thought this could help me have a voice in the system.” 

   Many would think that a job of this magnitude would cause some stress, due to the effect it can have on our country and that it requires incredibly long shifts, but some students managed to manage these roadblocks and made the best out of the opportunity.

   “It wasn’t stressful at all,” said Castillo, “dealing with people is one of the things I do best. It was a unique environment because we all had our political party visible on our badge, everyone got along very well and worked great together despite political beliefs.”

   The task was an insightful one for many students and was a good way for them to help their community. Despite some of the jobs difficulties, students say they would do it again.

   “Counting the ballots was the easy part, the tabulator recorded all the information,” said Castillo. “We had to make sure it was correct by matching the count, which didn’t take long. The cleaning up process in general was a little over an hour. I would most definitely serve as an election judge in the future, and I would recommend other students to volunteer, it was a great work and life experience.”