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Secretary Merrill Extends Poll Worker Opportunity to High School and College Students


Monday, September 30, 2019 – MONTGOMERY – Alabama Act 2019-476 was passed during the 2019 Legislative Session, authorizing each Probate Judge to appoint up to two high school or college students to work as unpaid student interns at each polling place in the county on Election Day. This law became effective on September 1, 2019.

To be appointed a poll worker intern, a student must meet the following qualifications:

·         Be recommended by a principal or other school official, or by the individual responsible for the student’s home instruction program.

·         Be at least 16 years of age at the time of the election for which the appointment is made.

·         Be a resident of the county or municipality for which the appointment is made.

·         Be enrolled in a public high school, an accredited private high school or a home instruction program and be classified as a junior or senior or the equivalent, or two-year or four-year higher education institution.

The duties of student interns appointed shall be determined by the officials in charge of the election in the county or municipality. However, the duties may not include determining the qualification of a voter in the event a voter is challenged or the operation and maintenance of any voting equipment.

Student interns shall at all times be under the supervision of the poll managers of the election while performing their duties at precincts.

Prior to Election Day, student interns shall attend all required training for poll workers of the county or municipality and any additional training considered necessary by the election officials.

A student intern who works four or more hours in a day during school hours on Election Day or any day of training shall be entitled to an excused absence from school.

Merrill stated, "We are excited that the Alabama Legislature and Governor Ivey have given us the opportunity to allow young people who are interested in participating in government to make a real and significant impact in the elections process!"

Last week, the Office of the Secretary of State began reaching out to high schools and colleges across the state to inform students of this new opportunity.

If you are interested in applying to be a student poll worker intern and meet the qualifications, you can find the application on our website.