HB 86 seeks to allow youth elections judges - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

HB 86 seeks to allow youth elections judges

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GREAT FALLS -

Representative Kathy Swanson of Anaconda has introduced House Bill 86, which seeks to allow youth to serve as election judges.

The Montana Secretary of state’s website describes an election judge in Montana as someone who helps ensure the state’s elections remain secure, fair, accurate and accessible to all voters.

In other words, they serve as an election officer or “inspector.”

This is what HB 86 proposes the following:

  • Youth election judge must be 16-18 years old at time of election
  • Be a Montana resident living in the county they would be serving
  • Must have written consent from parent/guardian
  • Must have written consent from school principal
  • The number of youth election judges may not exceed the number of assigned election judges to each precinct.

We asked Great Falls High school AP Government teacher Gregg Dart and student body President Cade Habel their thoughts on youth being more involved in the election process.

Both agree it would be a great learning opportunity.

"Getting that direct influence I think is a great gateway into showing we have that voice,” Habel said. “And you're looking at a generation that can turn the outcome of an election just by sheer numbers alone."

Dart said, "I'm sure it's hard to find election judges. I mean every two years it's a large group of people that have to be selected, and we have a wonderful who would love to get out of a day of school on top of learning about how the election process works."

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