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Developing students as public servants from the classroom to the polls
Unformatted Document Text:  Draft: Lindaman and Charles 5 which has the potential to intensely affect citizenship positively through serving the public good. Since many states, including Minnesota, experience a shortfall in the staffing of election day voting locations, this serves as a good opportunity to not only practice good public service but also to develop experiences which contribute to citizenship. Students as election judges (or poll workers) provide a valuable experience to test their socialization, college education and training, and spirit of public service. Since we argue the experience as election judges positively affects student levels of civic engagement and citizenship, we also examine how their participation positively influences effective governance, representation and accountability to serve the public good. The multiple accountabilities framework provides an applicable assessment to the understanding of college students as poll workers (Dubnik and Romzek 1987; Romzek 2000). Public servants, or college students as election judges, are held accountable by a variety of different principals—hierarchical/bureaucratic, professional, legal, political-- which encourage better service delivery and greater representation of the democratic ideal. In performing as election judges, we suggest college students are able to perform their tasks well within the good governance model because they likely represent newer voters (especially as traditional age college students) and build upon their intense higher education training and experiences. We further suggest that regardless of formal accountability lines, these poll workers are good public servants who not only perform their job effectively but also are instilled with a sense of public service. The main purpose of this paper is to summarize and review the program of research which began in Fall 2006 in the Department of Social Work at Winona State University in Minnesota. Our initial experiment with students as poll workers

Authors: Lindaman, Kara. and Charles, Ruth.
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Draft: Lindaman and Charles
5
which has the potential to intensely affect citizenship positively through serving the
public good. Since many states, including Minnesota, experience a shortfall in the
staffing of election day voting locations, this serves as a good opportunity to not only
practice good public service but also to develop experiences which contribute to
citizenship. Students as election judges (or poll workers) provide a valuable experience
to test their socialization, college education and training, and spirit of public service.
Since we argue the experience as election judges positively affects student levels
of civic engagement and citizenship, we also examine how their participation positively
influences effective governance, representation and accountability to serve the public
good. The multiple accountabilities framework provides an applicable assessment to the
understanding of college students as poll workers (Dubnik and Romzek 1987; Romzek
2000). Public servants, or college students as election judges, are held accountable by a
variety of different principals—hierarchical/bureaucratic, professional, legal, political--
which encourage better service delivery and greater representation of the democratic
ideal. In performing as election judges, we suggest college students are able to perform
their tasks well within the good governance model because they likely represent newer
voters (especially as traditional age college students) and build upon their intense higher
education training and experiences. We further suggest that regardless of formal
accountability lines, these poll workers are good public servants who not only perform
their job effectively but also are instilled with a sense of public service.
The main purpose of this paper is to summarize and review the program of
research which began in Fall 2006 in the Department of Social Work at Winona State
University in Minnesota. Our initial experiment with students as poll workers


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