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Youth Pollworker Emergency Amendment Act of 2002
Bill 14-580

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To amend on an emergency basis, the District of Columbia Election Code of 1955 to authorize 16 and 17 year old District residents to serve as pollworkers under regulations promulgated by the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics.

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

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

"(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, and polling place workers who shall assist the precinct captains, in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Board. 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; provided, that the Board may also appoint as polling place workers, District residents who are 16 or 17 years of age on the day that they are working in this capacity, 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. This legislation will not have a fiscal impact. This legislation helps the 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. This measure clarifies the existing statutory language regarding pollworkers and allows District 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. These positions were funded in its budget, however, only 1,402 persons 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, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 12, 2001. This measure is now being considered by the U.S. Senate and would authorize $55 million in FY 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. Effective date

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 shall remain in effect for no longer than 90 days, as provided for emergency acts of the Council of the District of Columbia in section 412(a) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 788; D.C. Official Code § 1-204.12(a)).

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