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Clarion-Limestone Students Get New Perspectives Volunteering During Primary Election

Thursday, May 19, 2022 @ 12:05 AM

Posted by Jacob Deemer

IMG_2031 (1)CLARION TWP., Pa. (EYT) – As the votes trickled in on Tuesday, two Clarion-Limestone High School students were learning invaluable life lessons by volunteering at the polls at the Clarion Township Municipal Building for the Pennsylvania Primary Election.

(PHOTOS: Captured by Jacob Deemer/EYT.)

According to Judge of Elections Susan Sproul, this is a great opportunity for teens to get a behind-the-scenes look at the voting process.

“I’m a retired teacher and still do substitute teaching, and I just think this is great education,” Sproul said. “This is the best way to learn civics by serving.

“I just feel like it’s important for young people to see that they have a part in their community. They’re serving their community.”

In most cases, the students can either choose to be paid for the day, or they can put the hours towards community service. Their duties may vary at each polling station but could include checking voters in and assisting voters to scan their ballots.

Clarion-Limestone junior Ava Boyer (pictured above) experienced her first election day working the morning shift. Ava said this experience has opened her eyes to the country’s integral and unique voting system.

She told, “I knew people voted and that it was important, but now, being in this environment, I felt a lot more connected to this election.

“I can’t vote yet, but I still feel like I was giving a part to my country.”

“I think, like most things, people need to have their voices shared, even if it’s not in a loud way. Voting is an orderly thing, and democracy is very important, especially in the world today. I think a lot of people — old, young, disabled — it doesn’t matter…Color, race, gender, everyone needs to have a voice.

“Voting needs to be one of those things kept around for a very long time, forever.”

The experience gives the students not only a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at the voting process, but is also a reminder of how important it is for every citizen to vote.

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Volunteering during the afternoon at the polls, Jocalyn Henry, a junior at C-L, also experienced her first election day.

“This year, I’m taking a government class, and it really got me interested in the voting process. I started learning more about voting and how important it is, and how it works.

“I thought it would be really cool to actually get involved with it and to be able to actually do something in my community.”

Henry, a self-proclaimed avid volunteer, is involved in her community and school through various organizations, such as the Limestone Volunteer Fire Department, Clarion PAWS, National Honor Society, and student council.

“I like volunteering,” she said. “I volunteer a lot because growing up, my parents always taught me to treat others how you want to be treated. We’re all in this together, so why not help each other out?”

Like Ava, Jocalyn believes democracy is very important, and people need to have their voices shared.

“(Voting) shows our democracy and gives everybody a chance to put their opinion out,” explained Henry. “While some people think it doesn’t always matter, one vote can change everything. Not only are you picking somebody, but you’re showing the government where our ideals are, what issues are important, and what we’re really focusing on. It just helps everyone get an ideal image of what we need to do in the future.”

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