Join Student Democracy Program


Student Democracy Program


What is Student Democracy Program?

Student Democracy Program is the San Mateo County Student Vote Center Ambassadors Program aimed at giving high school students an inside look at American democracy in action. Student Vote Center Ambassadors are essential members of the Election Day team, assisting voters and participating in Vote Center operations.

Who can join Student Democracy Program?

In order to be a Student Vote Center Ambassador with Student Democracy Program, students must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the United States
  • Get written permission from parent/guardian and school

What are the benefits of joining Student Democracy Program?

  • It looks great on a college application or resume
  • Earn community service credits, depending on school policy
  • Represent your school
  • See democracy in action from a local perspective
  • Earn $280.00, including $85.00 for attending the mandatory training
  • Earn an additional $150.00 per optional shifts

What do Student Vote Center Ambassadors do?

  • Set up voting machines, tables and other Vote Center supplies
  • Set up and close the Vote Center (working 6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.) on Election Day!
  • Set up and close the Vote Center (working 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.) on Saturday and Sunday (optional shifts)
  • Assist voters with check-in process
  • Assist voters in ballot drop-off process
  • Assist with line management
  • Assist Vote Center Representative with disinfecting vote material

How do I know if my application was accepted?

If your application is accepted, you will receive a letter via email from the Registration & Elections Division with your Vote Center assignment. A limited number of students per school is allowed and are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If you do not receive an assignment letter by a week before the election, please call 650.722.6543 or email

Do I have to attend a training class?

Yes. All Student Vote Center Ambassadors are required to attend a 3-hour training class conducted by the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division, even if you have taken a training class for a previous election. Training will have 2 phases; 1 virtual class at home and one in-person class which will take place at a 3rd party facility.

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

If you cannot attend your scheduled class, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the beginning of the class, or you may be dismissed from the program. Special arrangements can be made to make up the class.

How long will I have to work on Election Day?

Election Day is long – you start at 6:30 a.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. You are given two 1-hour breaks during the day. You must finish the entire shift. Half-shifts are not available.

How long will I have to work on the optional Saturday and/or Sunday Shift?

The Saturday and/or Sunday shift will start at 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You are given 1 1-hour break during the day. You must finish 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 the program and your school will be notified.

How much will I get paid?

All Student Vote Center Ambassadors receive $280.00 for attending the training class and working on Election Day and an additional $150.00 per optional Saturday and/or Sunday shift. 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?

  • Checks take up to 30 days to process
  • If you haven’t received your paycheck by the middle of December give us a call
  • You cannot get paid until we have your signed W-4 IRS Information Sheet
  • Please provide your correct mailing address, name and Social Security number. (PRINT CAPITALS ONLY)
  • Incorrect information will delay payment

Where will I be assigned to work on Election Day?

The County of San Mateo strives to assign Student Vote Center Ambassadors to locations convenient to their home address.

How do I get more information about Student Democracy Program?

Your Student Democracy Program School Coordinator

Student Democracy Program Flyer