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Developing students as public servants from the classroom to the polls
Unformatted Document Text:  Draft: Lindaman and Charles 11 is in control—totally. . .If Election Judges are bad, they [the voters] won’t want to come back” (P9). Again the initial data reveal an interesting paradox. Students as poll workers or election judges without much formal training are introduced to public service with greater democratic ramifications. They acknowledge their participation represents and encourages a new voter, yet they are hesitant to seize their role as influential. Clearly college students as election judges present a teaching moment with larger effects. The ability to process the event after the experience and to analyze their civic engagement created a greater understanding of the process. One student reported, “when you are not feeling that you count and that voting matters, it is hard. Do people take initiative to go to certain areas of town prior to the election and get it done? Do send those irritating political leaflets. Do this so people can see that candidates care about them.” (P3) First time election judges would gladly return as election judges Perhaps the greatest effect on the participants as college students and as election judges is their desire to continue as public servants. One hundred percent of the participants responded that they would be an election judge again. The demonstrated desire to repeat their public service is certainly a good one, however the statements made by respondents to elaborate their newly discovered civic engagement is curious. For example two students replied that their initial involvement was due not to their spirit of public service but rather the course requirements. As one responded “Thank you for making me do this because I never would have done it unless I had to for class” (P5), and

Authors: Lindaman, Kara. and Charles, Ruth.
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Draft: Lindaman and Charles
11
is in control—totally. . .If Election Judges are bad, they [the voters] won’t want to come
back” (P9).
Again the initial data reveal an interesting paradox. Students as poll workers or
election judges without much formal training are introduced to public service with greater
democratic ramifications. They acknowledge their participation represents and
encourages a new voter, yet they are hesitant to seize their role as influential. Clearly
college students as election judges present a teaching moment with larger effects. The
ability to process the event after the experience and to analyze their civic engagement
created a greater understanding of the process. One student reported, “when you are not
feeling that you count and that voting matters, it is hard. Do people take initiative to go
to certain areas of town prior to the election and get it done? Do send those irritating
political leaflets. Do this so people can see that candidates care about them.” (P3)
First time election judges would gladly return as election judges
Perhaps the greatest effect on the participants as college students and as election
judges is their desire to continue as public servants. One hundred percent of the
participants responded that they would be an election judge again. The demonstrated
desire to repeat their public service is certainly a good one, however the statements made
by respondents to elaborate their newly discovered civic engagement is curious. For
example two students replied that their initial involvement was due not to their spirit of
public service but rather the course requirements. As one responded “Thank you for
making me do this because I never would have done it unless I had to for class” (P5), and


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