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Teen election judges get $170, T-shirt, civics lesson

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
by Susan Hogan/Albach

Ninety teens sat in a downtown building Monday learning how to be election judges.

"Do you know what a precinct is?" a teacher asked.

No hands shot up, but many students nodded their heads.

Nearly 1,900 Chicago high school students will serve as judges during the Feb. 5 Illinois presidential primary. That's more than any other city.

"It's a good opportunity to learn more about how the government works," said Jennifer Tran, 18, of Jones College Prep.

Juniors and seniors with at least a 3.0 grade average qualify. They'll receive $120 for their work as a judge and another $50 for attending the training session.

The sessions, which run through Feb. 3, are offered by the Chicago Board of Elections and Mikva Challenge, an organization that fosters youth involvement in public service.

"Young people are interested in this election, even if they can't vote," said Mellissa Kimble, 16, of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy.

The student judges will all wear T-shirts that say, "I am democracy."



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