arcnav.gif (3459 bytes)

Back to legislation introduced in Council period 14

Youth Pollworker Act of 2002
Bill 14-514

DC Watch Home

Council Period 12

Council Period 13

Council Period 14

Council Period 15

Election 1998

Election 2000

Election 2002


Search DCWatch

Councilmember Kathy Patterson

Councilmember Vincent Orange


Councilmembers Kathy Patterson and Vincent Orange introduced the following legislation, which was referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

To amend the District of Columbia Election Code of 1955 to allow residents of the District of Columbia who are 16 or 17 years of age to serve as pollworkers.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Youth Pollworker Act of 2002".

Sec. 2. Section 5 of the District of Columbia Election Code of 1955, approved August 12, 1955 (69 Stat. 700; D.C. Official Code § 1-1001.05) is amended by adding a new paragraph (e)(4) to read as follows:

"(e)(4) The Board shall select, appoint, and fix the compensation of temporary election workers to operate the polling places, including precinct captains who shall oversee the operations of polling places in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board, and polling place workers who shall assist the precinct captains. Precinct captains shall be qualified registered electors in the District of Columbia. Polling place workers shall be qualified registered electors in the District of Columbia, except that the Board may also appoint as polling place workers individuals who are 16 or 17 years of age on the day -that they are working in this capacity, who reside in the District of Columbia, and who are enrolled in or have graduated from a public or private secondary school or an institution of higher education.".

Sec. 3. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council finds that this legislation will not have a fiscal impact. The main impact of the legislation will be to help the Board of Elections and Ethics ("Board") fill pollworker positions that are funded but have gone unfilled in prior election cycles. The legislation does not create any mandate for the Board to hire additional pollworkers or spend additional funds; rather, it clarifies the existing statutory language regarding pollworkers and allows youth between the ages of 16 and 18 to serve as pollworkers.

For example, the Board recruited 1,622 pollworkers for the November 7, 2000, general election - positions that were funded in its budget - but only 1,402 reported to work on election day. The legislation provides the Board with another source of pollworkers so that the Board can fill more or all of its funded positions. As a result, the legislation will not have any adverse fiscal impact on the Board or on the District of Columbia government.

In addition, the legislation positions the District for a potentially positive fiscal impact. H.R. 3295, which was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 12, 2001, and is now being considered by the U.S. Senate, would authorize $5 million in fiscal year 2002, and such sums as may be necessary in subsequent years, to fund a new Help America Vote Foundation that would provide grants to election agencies for secondary school students to serve as non-partisan poll workers or assistants.

Enactment of this legislation would enable the Board to apply for grant funds from the Help America Vote Foundation if the federal legislation is also enacted. 

Sec. 4. This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), and a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code §1206.02(c)(1), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

Back to top of page

Send mail with questions or comments to
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)