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Some Teenagers Can Serve As Election Clerks

Photo by KUT

As you’re huddled around the radio tonight with your entire family listening to KUT’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses, perhaps your teenager will wish aloud that he or she could participate in this thing called “democracy.”

While casting a vote is still strictly for adults only, teens who are 16 and older can still get a front row seat on the process by serving as a polling clerk during the primaries or on Election Day.

The Secretary of State’s Office pays election workers hourly and says “experience as an election clerk is an impressive addition to a resume or college application.” Teenagers will still need parents to fill out a permission slip.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for young people to get involved in the electoral process,” Travis County Republican Party chairperson Rosemary Edwards said. “You don’t just have to sit around and wait, but you can participate actively.”

Teenagers can work as clerks in either the Republican or Democratic primaries. Because Texas has joint primaries, both parties have clerks at the same precinct polling stations.

Texas primaries are currently scheduled for April, but that could change. The state’s revised electoral maps are now before the United States Supreme Court, and Texas counties have said the unresolved redistricting process means April primaries are unrealistic.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.