Editorial: Students help voters and prepare for future | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Editorial: Students help voters and prepare for future

Thirteen South Tahoe High School students fanned out to El Dorado County election precincts Tuesday to get a valuable civics lesson and contribute to a monumental American tradition: voting.

They, their classmates and their slightly older voting-age contemporaries are the key to an ever-strengthening democracy. Intrigue them while they’re young, and they’ll be hooked on the electoral process for life.

The students, who were paid $95 to work from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and $45 for a half-day, seemed to appreciate the importance of their responsibilities and recognize the significance of this particular California presidential primary.

As STHS junior Robben Charles said Monday: “It’s a chance for a woman or an African-American to be president.”

The local students were among high schoolers throughout the county to volunteer for the Student Pollworker Program (SPP). Students needed a 2.5 grade-point average and permission from a guardian and teacher to participate in the program.

The SPP, sponsored by the El Dorado County Elections Department, encourages students to participate in elections, educates them in the electoral process, instills civic responsibility and teaches them election procedures.

STHS teacher Suzy Allione arranged for her students to volunteer Tuesday, noting she emphasized the importance of the election.

“I told them: ‘You’re going to be telling your grandkids about the 2008 election,’ ” she recalled.

Bravo for Allione. She’s absolutely right to be excited about this moment in history: For America, there has been no other quite like it.

STHS junior Shari Warden summed up her SPP opportunity by saying: “It’s really good to know about the election process before voting.”

It sure is. And the more you know, the more interesting it becomes.

Let’s hope Warden’s friends and classmates catch her enthusiasm in the years ahead. They’re our future, and we need them to be involved.

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