EL High students help out at the polls

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Madeline Riley, an East Lansing High School senior, spent Election Day working at precinct 14 at West Akers Hall. Photo by Emily Fesler

By Emily Fesler

A few months away from being 18, and less than a year from entering college, Madeline Riley spent election day helping voters at East Lansing precinct 14 at West Akers Hall.

She was among a group of East Lansing High School students helping run the election for the East Lansing city clerk.

“I thought this would a proactive and interesting way to help out,” Riley said.

“I’m interested in politics and I’m obviously interested in who our president will be, so I looked into it further and just discovered where to come, how to volunteer and work the election.”

East Lansing High School senior Maddi Booth worked at precinct 15 at East Wilson Hall on Election Day. Photo by Emily Fesler

At precinct 15 at East Wilson Hall, Maddi Booth, a senior at East Lansing, said the most interesting part of volunteering is how many strict and straightforward rules there are for the election.

“If someone asks a question you have to have two different people from different parties that are working the election answer it, even if the question is, ‘Can I have another pen?’” Booth said.

Booth said she attended a three-hour training one week ago to prepare for the election.

“I can’t vote,” she said, “but now I get to see how the whole process works.”

Booth said she was in eighth grade during the last election and had little awareness of politics.

Booth, an Obama supporter, turns 18 in January and said she is frustrated she just missed the age limit to vote.

As for Riley, she said her political views also lean to the left.

“I would vote for Obama if I could vote,” Riley said. “I especially like his stance on women’s rights and more health care options, which is really important because I am going out into the job market in less than five years, so I want to be treated equally.”

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