Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Voting volunteers are needed

October 19, 2006

Baldwin City youths will once again have the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election, but volunteers are needed to help run the polling sites.

Each of the five locations for the students need people to work each shift. Margaret Perkins-McGuinness, manager of Roger Hill Volunteer Center, said she has had trouble finding workers.

"It's always easier to find volunteers on a presidential election," Perkins-McGuinness said. "These last few weeks are hard on us to find volunteers, but we are doing pretty well overall."

Perkins-McGuinness said the Lawrence sites depend a lot on University of Kansas and high school students. She hopes that Baker University and Baldwin High School students will step up and volunteer.

"They will make excellent volunteers," Perkins-McGuinness said. "There is a definite need in Baldwin City for volunteers."

She also said that Baldwin needs approximately two dozen workers. The volunteers will work in pairs during each session.

The volunteers will be required to assist students in signing in, giving them the appropriate grade level ballot, handing out "I voted" stickers, answer questions and tally the results at the end of the shift.

Volunteers may attend one of two training sessions on Nov. 2 in the auditorium of the Lawrence Arts Center at 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.

On Nov. 7, the Kids Voting Douglas County project will be setting up polling sites all around Baldwin. The program is tailored to introducing the entire voting process to students of all ages.

"It's a nice way for the children to get to know what voting is all about," Perkins-McGuinness said.

The voting sites are only open before and after schools. The shifts on Nov. 7 are 6:45-9 a.m., 2:34-5:30 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. The sites around Baldwin are the Willow Springs Township Hall, United Methodist Church, Baldwin City American Legion, Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center and the Baldwin City Fire Station.

The Lawrence Journal-World, Douglas County public schools and the Roger Hill Volunteer Clinic are coordinating the Kids Voting Douglas County program.

Anyone interested in volunteering on Nov. 7, should contact Perkins-McGuinness by phone at (785) 865-5030 or by e-mail at info@rhvc.org.

She hopes many children will come out to vote on Nov. 7, because she believes it's a good way for them to learn about the voting process, especially high school students who are near the voting age.

"Kids voting is a great opportunity to be active in the community," Perkins-McGuinness said. "As they get older, they will know how the voting process works and hopefully see voting as a positive experience."

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