State law permits certain qualified high school and home-based private educational program students to work at the polls as an election inspector on Election Day. Wis. Stat. § 7.30(2)(am).
Students must be enrolled in a public, private, or tribal high school or a home-based private educational program. Students may decide for themselves to serve as election inspectors or in response to a school sponsored initiative. Civics, government or political science teachers or administrators may see this as an opportunity for a real life learning experience. Student organizations may find this to be an attractive form of community service and an interesting learning opportunity.
Allowing students to work as election inspectors provides an opportunity for students to become involved in the election process and also offers clerks another resource for filling election inspector positions. Students with foreign language skills can serve at polling places where voters may need assistance understanding the ballot, voting equipment and other election-related materials. In many locations, Hmong and Spanish speaking voters need special assistance.
Before a student may be appointed as an inspector, the municipal clerk shall obtain written authorization from the student's parent or guardian. The clerk must also obtain written authorization from the principal or program administrator of the school where the student is enrolled if the student has less than a 3.0 grade point average. Upon appointment, the municipal clerk shall notify the principal or program administrator of the school where the student is enrolled as of the date of the election at which the student will serve.
A student may only serve as an inspector at a polling place if at least one inspector, other than the chief inspector, is a qualified elector of the municipality
A student may not serve as chief inspector at a polling place
A student serving as an election inspector may not challenge any person offering to vote.
Students may serve only at polling places that serve their residence.
Municipal clerks are encouraged to work with their local schools and home-based private educational programs to enable students to serve as election inspectors.
Like any other poll worker, high students are required to be trained by the municipal clerk. Learn more on the Poll Worker Training page.