By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Committee of Seventy is making final preparations for a pilot program that’ll deploy 200 high school students at polling places across Philadelphia on Election Day. The goal is to get young voters involved in the elections process.
The project is called — the Election Ambassador Corps. It deputizes junior and seniors from six area high schools to visit polling places, answer voter questions, conduct exit and provide suggestion on improving the voter experience.
“We really try to impress on them that they may be 17, 18 years old,” says Pat Christmas, policy director for Committee of Seventy, “they may know more about the voting procedure that most adults out there.”
The group trained the students on the elections process and created manuals they can use to help voters.
He says the goal is to boost voter participation among the city’s youngest voters.
“We want these kids to become super voters for the rest of their lives.”
Walker Moseley works for the Committee of Seventy. His job is to run their new Election Ambassador Corp.
The goal– boost low turnout among young voters. Only 12 percent of 18 to 34 years old cast ballots in the May Primary.
“That’s just an alarming low number,” says Moseley, “so we’re trying to figure out how to target this demographic.”
Hannah Clark is a junior at Springfield Chestnut Hill Academy. She was trained as an ambassador Wednesday and will be polling voters on Election Day.
“I’m a little nervous.”
But she’s also excited that in two years she’ll get to do more than just ask questions.
“I’m going to register for voting and then vote,” says Clark.
Christmas says Committee of seventy expects to expand the program for the 2016 primary and presidential election.