Hundreds of San Mateo County High School Students Prepare for ‘Critical' Role on Election Day

More student workers and San Mateo County voters will be at polling stations than any year on record.

While the halls were empty and classes had been dismissed for the day, a classroom of students at Hillsdale High School remained in their seats.

That's because San Mateo County election crews and local high schools collaborated to train approximately 500 students to assist on Election Day.

"They're really critical members of our election day team," said Mark Church, the county clerk and chief elections officer. "I think it's critical that we teach our youth the importance of voting and the importance of our election process."

Student involvement has grown from 400 students four years ago to 500 students this year, according to Church.

This school is one of nine others that partnered with county-run DemocracyLIVE! "Student Election Officer Program" to get kids engaged and active in the election process.

On a blog page with students' feedback of the program, Jerell Maneja said, “I was just so into this experience and there was not a moment where there was a 'slow hour.'"

Maneja said she worked 15 hours at the polling station.

"This was a big, important election, and I can proudly say I was a part of it." Maneja wrote.

Church said, "The more engaged they are with this, the more engaged they'll be as adults in our community, and the more engaged we are in our community, the stronger our democracy."

DemocracyLIVE! isn't the only citizen participation that's growing in the county. Voter registration has also hit a record high.

In the November 2012 elections, voter registration hit a record high of 389,718 and as of Monday night, 395,928 registrations have been counted with that number expected to grow as more are processed.

Participating schools in the county include San Mateo’s Aragon and Hillsdale High Schools, South San Francisco and El Camino High Schools, Belmont’s Carlmont High School, Burlingame High School, Woodside High School, Pacifica’s Oceana High School, Millbrae’s Mills High School and Redwood City’s Sequoia High School.

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