NEW ELECTION BILL PASSES
Lebanon, TN – An election bill allowing poll officials to volunteer their time as a public service sponsored by State Senator Mae Beavers and State Representative Susan Lynn, became law on April 4th. The adoption of this law offers the opportunity for local high school students to earn necessary volunteer hours they need for their Tennessee Scholars and Tennessee Promise scholarships.
Senator Beavers said, “This bill enables a new generation of voters to embrace public service by volunteering as poll officials while they work toward the requirements for Tennessee scholarships.”
The bill was greeted with bipartisan support in both the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives and was one the earliest bills to gain passage and be signed by the Governor.
“I was honored to carry this bill for our County Election Commissions. It was truly one of the more popular new ideas for legislation among legislators. I am excited to see how this new law opens doors for our youth to engage in civic involvement and community service,” said Representative Lynn.
Tennessee Scholars motivates all high school students to complete a defined, rigorous course of study. To graduate with the Tennessee Scholar designation, a student must maintain a “C” average in all courses, complete eighty volunteer service hours; have no out-of-school suspensions; and maintain a 95% attendance record.
Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program focused on increasing the number of students that attend college in our state. It provides students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or state student assistance funds. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology or other eligible institution offering an associate’s degree program. Tennessee Promise participants must complete eight hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress (2.0 GPA) at their institution.
The Wilson County Election Commission recruits and trains over 300 poll officials for each countywide election. In 2016, over 45 students representing all Wilson County high schools were trained and worked alongside veteran poll officials throughout the county.
“Having students serve on Election Day is one of many ways we interact with our schools,” said Tammy Smith, Assistant Administrator. “We are always looking for ways to increase awareness of elections and voting among young people. Holding elections for class officers, superlatives, BizTown mayors or mock elections is our way of building a tradition of voting that will last a lifetime.”
Phillip Warren, Administrator of Elections said, “Even though the next scheduled election is August 2, 2018 we are always excited to hear from Wilson County voters who are interested in serving as Poll officials. If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities as a poll official, you may submit a Poll Worker application online. The application is available at www.WilsonVotes.com.” For each election, the Election Commission appoints and trains poll officials to serve on Election Day at the 31 precincts and at the five early voting sites.
To learn more about elections, voting and how you can be involved with Wilson County elections contact the Wilson County Election Commission at 615-444-0216 or online at www.Wilsonelections.com.
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