San Mateo County Schools Support Student Election Officers in County’s democracyLIVE! Program
Students will get first-hand experience at county polling places

Archive Press Release

Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

Alternate: David Tom, Deputy Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

Redwood City, CA – Schools throughout the peninsula are once again partnering generously with San Mateo County’s election officials in the recruitment of high school students aged 16 and over to participate in the democracyLIVE! program to become student election officers in the upcoming countywide election on Tuesday, November 8. The Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election will present county voters with contests among candidates for many local offices, along with local ballot measures.

San Mateo County’s democracyLIVE! program was launched in 2006. The program enables students to learn about the processes, laws, policies and safeguards that are involved in conducting an election. While the main impetus for the program was to expand civic engagement among young people, the program’s creators also foresaw that the election officer program as a whole would benefit from the young recruits’ technical savvy, excitement, and ease with innovation.

San Mateo County’s Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder, Mark Church, applauds the support being provided by local schools. “We have great schools and great kids in our county, and we’re thrilled to have so many students enrolled. This program creates a unique opportunity for them to participate in our democracy before reaching voting age,” Church said. “The students provide critical services to voters in their communities and witness the seriousness and excitement felt by voters and observers on election day. It’s clear that they take pride in their work, especially when assigned, as many are, as the precinct’s technical specialist on the operation of our voting machines,” he added.

Eight schools are participating in the program: Aragon High; Burlingame High; Crystal Springs Uplands School; Hillsdale High; Oceana High; Redwood High; South San Francisco High; and Woodside High.

The enrollment deadline was September 16. In total, 268 students have joined. Each participant must be a U.S. citizen, a resident or student in San Mateo County, and at least 16 years old. Also, the student must have a current GPA of at least 2.5 and the written permission of the student’s parents or guardians and of effected teachers.

Student election officers are critical members of the polling place team, having been trained to carry out all the normal responsibilities of an election officer. Like other election officers, each student receives a $25 stipend after successfully completing the mandatory training classes, which are held on school grounds at schools which have at least 20 students enrolled in the program. The trained student receives an additional $100 stipend after having served the required 15 hours or more on election day.

To learn more about the democracyLIVE! Program, visit the Elections Office website at, and click on the Election Officers tab, then select democracyLIVE!. The program’s coordinator is Jennifer Tagg, who is available by phone at 650.312-5317 or by email at

The press release is displayed in its original format. San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Elections website now resides at