It could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
Dallas County is looking for local high schoolers to become election workers in what's shaping up to be a historical year for voters.
Experts say voter turnout in 2020 could reach the highest levels in decades.
Dallas County Elections is certainly preparing for a big year. Applications for the student election worker program are now open.
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Laura Varela, who oversees both the student program and the bilingual program for the county’s election office, said she’s expecting around 1,500 students to apply, which is twice as many from the 2016 election.
She said the students are needed now more than ever.
Many of the election workers are elderly and retired, part of the at-risk population for COVID-19. Varela said the department needs those students to fill the gaps at polling locations.
They also need the student’s help with changing technology. Because of the pandemic, many aspects of the polls have switched to touchless technology like tablets and styluses.
Students will also be extensively trained in electoral laws and procedures.
The program has even led some students to reshape their future in many ways.
"Some of them are becoming judges, so they're actually the manager of a polling location. We've had that happen during the runoffs,” said Varela. "So they're running polls now. They are becoming more involved. And they are learning early on that it is important to participate and to be registered."
The program is for current high school students only. They must be at least 16 years old come election day and if they are 18, they must be registered to vote.
The pay is $16 per hour. Students can also earn community hours in addition to pay.
Students will need to complete an online training course in the weeks leading up to the election. The deadline to apply for the student election worker program is September 28.