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Archive for Friday, October 25, 2002

Kids Voting project seeks poll volunteers

October 25, 2002

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Scottie Lingelbach volunteered to be an Election Day poll worker at Southwest Junior High School because she's worried about the future of democracy.

Lingelbach, a retired Missouri high school social studies teacher, is lending a hand to the nonpartisan Kids Voting USA project in Lawrence. She'll be at Southwest on Nov. 5 to collect votes of students casting their own ballots.

"I would hope they are getting a strong dose when they take civics that democracy is a two-edged sword," she said. "On one side, there are privileges. On the other side, there are responsibilities."

She said one of those responsibilities was voting.

Kids Voting is the only program of its kind that enables students to visit official polling sites on Election Day to cast a ballot similar in content to the official version.

The program is sponsored by the Lawrence Journal-World in cooperation with the Roger Hill Volunteer Center in Lawrence and school districts in Douglas County. This is the program's 10th year .

The expectation is that students also will bring along adults who don't make a habit of voting, said Michelle Heller, director of the Roger Hill Volunteer Center.

She said it would require at least 300 volunteers to staff 54 polling sites in Lawrence. The volunteers will hand out ballots and tally results.

They'll work in shifts: from 6:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Most volunteer slots have been filled, Heller said, but about 14 people are still needed for the early-morning shift.

"We need people there," she said, "because that enables kids to go before school."

Training sessions for volunteers it's recommended, not required are at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Heller said Patty Jaimes, the Douglas County clerk, would give an oath to volunteers.

"We're trying to make this a pleasant experience," she said.

Lingelbach said Kids Voting offered adults an opportunity to be good role models for their children.

"There is nothing better than the example of a parent," she said.

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