democracyLIVE! Student Poll Worker Program

Overview

democracyLIVE!
Student Vote Center Representative Program

democracyLIVE! is San Mateo County’s student volunteer program where students have the opportunity to get an inside look at the election process. It’s a great way to learn how American democracy works while earning some extra cash, too!

Everything You Need to Know About democracyLIVE!

If this program interests you, we encourage you to sign up. It’s an amazing opportunity to experience Election Day firsthand.

What is democracyLIVE!?

democracyLIVE! is San Mateo County’s student Vote Center Representatives program. It’s designed to give high school students an inside look at American democracy in action. Student Vote Center Representatives are critical members of the Election Day team and provide support to Elections staff, assisting voters and participating in Vote Center operations.

Who can join democracyLIVE!? 

In order to be a student Vote Center Representative with democracyLIVE!, you must:

  • be at least 16 years old
  • be a high school student with a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • be a U.S. citizen
  • Get written permission from both your parent/guardian and school for you to work on Election Day.

What are the benefits of joining democracyLIVE!?

  • Enhance your college application or resume
  • Earn community service credits, depending on school policy
  • Represent your school
  • See democracy in action from a local perspective
  • Earn $140 which includes $25 for attending the mandatory training

Student Vote Center Representatives are required to:

  • Attend a training class
  • Set up voting machines, tables, and other Vote Center supplies
  • Set up and close the Vote Center (working 6 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
  • Assist voters with the check-in process
  • Assist voters with the ballot drop-off process
  • Assist with line management

Here’s a list of high schools that have taken part in democracyLIVE!:

  • Alma Heights Christian Academy
  • Aragon High School
  • Atherton High School
  • Burlingame High School
  • Capuchino High School
  • Carlmont High School
  • Castilleja School
  • Crystal Springs Uplands
  • East Palo Alto Academy
  • El Camino High School
  • Half Moon Bay High School
  • Hillsdale High School
  • Jefferson High School
  • Junipero Serra High School
  • Menlo School
  • Mid-Peninsula
  • Mills High School
  • Notre Dame High School
  • Oceana High School
  • Ocean Grove High School
  • Pescadero High School
  • Redwood High School
  • Sacred Heart Preparatory School
  • San Mateo High School
  • Sequoia High School
  • South San Francisco High School
  • Summit Preparatory School
  • Terra Nova High School
  • Westmoor High School
  • Woodside High School

When does democracyLIVE! take place?

We recruit democracyLIVE! participants in the three months prior to an election. Training takes place in the schools during the month before the election. If you would like to join democracyLIVE! and serve as a student Vote Center Representative on Election Day, please apply here. Please contact our office if you are interested in applying past the deadline.

Student Vote Center Representatives work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Election Day.

How do I apply to join democracyLIVE!?

You may download the November 2018 democracyLIVE! package or pick one up at your school.

Here’s what to do:

  • Fill out the November 2018 democracyLIVE! package
  • Get your parent/guardian’s signature on your application
  • Get all your teachers’ signatures on your application
  • Fill out W-4 IRS Information Form (part of the application)
  • Give your application to your School Coordinator by the deadline of September 14, 2018

Students interested in applying past the deadline are encouraged to contact the democracyLIVE! Coordinator at 650.312.5222.

How do I know if my application was accepted, and where am I working?

If your application is accepted, you will receive a letter from the Registration & Elections Division with your polling location assignment. We try to assign you as close to your home as possible. If you do not receive an assignment letter by two weeks before the election, please call 650.286.2810 or email democracylive@smcacre.org.

Do I have to attend a training class?

All student Vote Center Representatives are required to attend a three-hour training class. Most classes will take place at your school. If you missed your assigned training class at school you must attend the training class at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo. Contact your School Coordinator to find out when the training class will be at your school.

What if I can’t attend the training class I’m scheduled for?

If you cannot attend your scheduled training class, please contact the democracyLIVE! Coordinator and we can place you in a class that works better for you. If you cannot attend your scheduled class, you must contact us via phone or email to cancel at least 24 hours before the beginning of the class.

How long will I have to work on Election Day?

Election Day is long: you start at 6 a.m. and finish at 9 p.m. You are given two one-hour breaks during the day. You must complete the entire shift. Half shifts are not available.

What if I can’t work on Election Day?

If you have to cancel, you must contact us immediately. No-shows will be disqualified from future involvement in the program and your school will be notified.

How much will I get paid?

All Student Vote Center Representatives receive $140 for attending the training class and working on Election Day. In order to receive a paycheck, you must complete the required training class, return the W-4 form and work the entire Election Day shift.

When do I get paid?

It can take up to 30 days to process payment. If you haven’t received your paycheck by the middle of December, please contact us at 650.312.5222 or democracylive@smcacre.org.

How do I reach the democracyLIVE! Coordinator?

If you have any questions regarding this program, please feel free to contact the democracyLIVE! Coordinator by email at democracylive@smcacre.org.

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Apply to Join democracyLIVE!

The democracyLIVE! program provides opportunities for high school students to work at the Vote Centers on Election Day and to experience democracy firsthand in their own community. Participants will be trained to work at the Vote Centers, serve as a member of Vote Center Representatives, earn community service credits (check with your school), earn money and have the chance to be a part of a special team on Election Day.