Students urged to sign up as election judges

by Megan Boldt

When students go to voting booths on election day, volunteers tend to be 40 to 50 years older than them.
To change that, Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer is visiting college campuses across the state to encourage students to register as election judges.
“I would like to see a wide age spectrum in the polling places,” Kiffmeyer said. “Most polling places have senior citizens working and the average age is about 70.”
Kiffmeyer said she would like polling stations, particularly near college campuses, to have more young people working.
Election judges work in polling stations on primary day, Sept. 12, and election day, Nov. 7. Employees would process absentee ballots, register voters and assist voters in completing their ballots.
“It’s a tremendous experience to practice good citizenship and to get paid,” Kiffmeyer said.
Mike Miller, Campus Republicans chairman, said the campus group will be encouraging students at their meetings to register to work at the polls. They are also going to include information in their recruitment materials.
“Once one or two students in a group of friends participate, others will follow. It’s a snowball effect,” Miller said.
Kiffmeyer said the state needs 30,000 people to work at the polls this fall.
“We need to recruit heavy. It’s a presidential year, so we need people,” she said.
If college students are interested in becoming election judges, they must sign up by June 15. Applicants are required to do two hours of paid training before the September primary.
“Some students don’t have the time to attend weekly meetings of campus political groups,” Miller said. “I think it’s a good opportunity for college students to get involved in the political process.”
Megan Boldt covers state government and welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3212.