Lowcountry High School students are stepping up in a big way to do their part to help ensure Election Day runs smoothly.
30 University School of the Lowcountry students will work at the polls on Election Day.
Tenth grader Kessler Kreutner-Eady and senior William Courtney are among 55 official Charleston County student workers. Kreutner-Eady says, “This is like a key part of our democracy, and it’s so important.”
They signed up to work at the polls on Election Day and recruited other students to do the same. “It was a lengthy process, but I think once we got the hang of it, Will and I did, we were able to guide everyone else through it, which was really great. I’m pretty interested in politics, so in May and June, we were getting the inkling, ‘wow lots of poll workers aren’t going to be able to be poll workers’ because the elderly demographic is being really affected by COVID, and they’re not going to want to work that polls.”
He went on to say, “That’s the majority of our poll workers, so we were like how can we do this and how can we help? We were like oh my gosh once you’re 16 you can be a poll worker. This is so important because if you work the polls, you are letting precincts be open, letting more precincts be open, letting people vote in a pandemic we’re going to see massive voter turnout. We’ve already seen that.”
Courtney and Kreutner-Eady are among 55 official Charleston County student workers, and will be paid $265 for the day.
The students say they wanted to help to keep elderly poll workers safe and to make sure enough workers are available at voting sites.
Senior William Courtney says, “It’s our duty, the younger generation who needs to step up and fill that gap and be poll workers. It’s cool to be able to exercise this civic duty of mine. I’m seventeen. I won’t be able to vote, unfortunately, but this is another way I can, and it’s really exciting.”
Head of School Jason Kreutner says the hands-on experience prepares students to be active and informed citizens.
“Where ever someone falls on the political spectrum, our school just wants our students to be engaged, because if they do it when they’re younger, they will become adults who will be engaged and paying attention,” said Kreutner. “It’s our job as adults to make that a powerful feeling to help them navigate this just at the outset. It’s turned into independent study classes and independent reading, and sort of let them go and it’s a reminder of the power of the person to impact other people.”
Other students will also conduct exit polling at precincts. “For a small school, I feel we’ve punched above our weight and done our part,” says Kreutner. Kessler Kreutner-Eady says, “I can’t vote yet, so I’m doing my part, I’m being a poll worker. I’m ready.”
25 students will serve as poll workers in Berkeley county.