Summary: Poll workers are increasingly older and new ones are difficult to recruit. The Poll Worker Investment Act would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to serve as precinct officials under the supervision of adults. It’s an investment in the future of our democracy.
Based upon the Hoosier Hall Pass program
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act shall be called the “Poll Worker Investment Act.”
SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
(A) FINDINGS—The legislature finds that:
(1) In general, poll workers are, on average, increasing in age and recruiting new ones is difficult, especially in counties with declining populations.
(2) With adult supervision, 16 and 17-year-olds can fill the gap. There are a limited number of rules that new precinct officials need to learn. Doing the job well primarily requires close attention during a long day, often as long as 16 hours.
(3) Training older teenagers as precinct workers is an investment in our democracy. The experience pays off as a memorable student project and builds the supply of experienced poll workers for the future.
(B) PURPOSE—This law is enacted to encourage greater citizen participation in elections.
SECTION 3. ALLOWING 16 AND 17-YEAR-OLDS TO SERVE AS PRECINCT WORKERS
After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted (in the existing section describing qualifications for precinct officials):
(1) A minor who is at least 16 years old and is a citizen of the United States may be appointed and serve as a precinct official, if the individual:
a) Resides in the county where the individual will work;
b) Has written approval of their parent or guardian; and
c) Has successfully completed any training required by the County Board of Elections.
(2) County Boards of Elections shall adopt guidelines and procedures consistent with this section.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.