Old School Meets New School at the Voting Booth

Teenage Election Worker Preparing for First Election

LUBBOCK, TX - Hours before Election Day, a Lubbock teenager prepared to work at a voting booth for the first time. She is too young to vote, but is already becoming politically minded.

Alyssabeth Pinkard, 16, signed up to work at a polling place all day on Tuesday.

"I'm nervous," Pinkard said.

Her mother, who is a supervisor at a polling location, helped recruit the 11th-grader this year. They said they would be working at the same voting area.

"My mom, she worked the last one where [President Barack] Obama was elected for a second term, and since I turned 16, she told me I could work it," Pinkard explained.

She has been learning about the rules at the voting locations in preparation for Election Day.

"They're not allowed to talk about any of the candidates while they're voting," she stated.

Pinkard attends Talkington School for Young Women Leaders. Her college advisor, Jeremy Cortez, shared his excitement for young people becoming politically active.

"I believe it is a great experience for students who are not of age to vote to get familiarize with their rights to vote. It allows them to see the democratic procedure take place first hand and not just discuss in class. As educators it not only is our job to academically prepare students but to provide them with necessary life skills," Cortez said.

Lubbock County Elections Administrator Dorothy Kennedy said several Lubbock Independent School District students, including many from Talkington, work for the elections office each year.

"They're absolutely wonderful," Kennedy said of the teens. "Our election workers love the students. they're not afraid of technology, and they're just are excited about learning something new and get the process and they are just loving it."

"It's a great combination having the students and our older veteran workers," Kennedy added.

Pinkard said she has plans to be a history teacher when she graduates. She said aside from getting a paycheck for working at the elections office, she hopes residents come to the polls and vote.

"I hope they actually do show up and vote because we need people to vote," she said. " Our future depends on it."


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