• Future Vote Gets Young People Involved
    Posted On: Jul 30, 2012



    What is Future Vote?

    In 2004 the Montgomery County Board of Elections launched the Future Vote (FV) Initiative pilot, as conceived by Gilberto “Dr. Z” Zelaya II, Ph.D., CERA, Community Outreach Liaison. Future Vote’s intent is to increase current and future voter knowledge, educate and strengthen ties related to civic participation for Montgomery County’s youth and families by actively providing an opportunity for civic duty, community involvement, and emphasizing the importance of preserving participatory democracy.

    What is a Student Election Aide?

    Student Election Aides dispense voting-related literature, pick up trash, indicate restrooms and polling-room exits and help disabled voters. Student Election Aides are required to be sensitive and polite with all voters, including those with special needs and, if possible, provide information and /or assistance in a second language or in American Sign Language.

    What are the hours of a Student Election Aide?

    On Election Day (Tuesday, November 6, 2012) students serve a 3-hour shift and are placed in precincts determined by their parents/guardians. At their assigned precinct, participants assist with pre-Election Day preparations (Monday, November 5, 2012) to broaden their voting experience and knowledge in all facets of Election Day preparation, coordination and implementation.

    • Mandatory Training: 1 hour (Dates listed during online registration and parent/guardian participation mandatory.)
    • Monday evening precinct set-up: 2 hours (Monday, November 5, 2012: 6:30PM-8:30PM)
    • Election Day Service: one 3 hour shift (Tuesday, November 6, 2012)
      • Shift I: 6AM-9AM
      • Shift II: 9AM-12PM
      • Shift III: 12PM-3PM
      • Shift IV: 3PM-6PM
      • Shift V: 6PM-9PM

    What are the responsibilities of a Student Election Aide?

    • Uphold integrity of elections
    • Set up the polling place as directed by Chief Judge
    • Assist voters as directed by the Chief Judge
    • Greet voters, clearly, articulately, offer assistance and/or voter information such as sample ballots
    • Be aware of and offer suggestions for voters having difficulty with standing;
    • Provide voters with verbal direction to place cards in box
    • Repackaging of cabling and equipment accessories. 
    • Inform voters of the following prohibited activities
      • Smoking
      • Talking on cellular phones
      • Taking photos and/or video recordings of voters voting
      • Handing out partisan literature and/or expressing partisan opinions
      • Pets (“Service animals are permitted!”)

    What training is required?

    All Student Election Aides and a Parent/Guardian must attend a 1-hour mandatory training to participate; even returning Future Vote volunteers.

    Are Student Election Aides paid?

    No! Student Election Aides earn Student Service Credits (SSL) for service. Documentation of all service performed will be sent via e-mail after the election is certified. Students must submit the service form to the SSL Coordinator at school. Future Vote has been pre-approved by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center and MCPS. Alternate forms maybe submitted for approval by students not enrolled in MCPS.

    • Mandatory Training: 1 hour = 1 SSL
    • Monday evening precinct set-up: 2 hours = 2 SSL
    • Election Day Service: 3 hours = 3 SSL
    • “Food and/or Coat Drive” (Optional): time commitment varies
      • Unfortunately, as per MCPS, Future Vote will no longer award SSL credit for donated items. Nonetheless, your efforts on behalf of Montgomery County families in need are welcomed. 

    How do I become a Student Election Aide?

    • Parent/guardian must apply on-line
    • 6th-12th grade student enrolled in school located in Montgomery County, MD
      • Program available to all students within a public, private, independent, religious, or home-school setting
    • Election Day student volunteers do not need to be a U.S. citizen to participate
    • Students, 17 years and older, are encouraged to serve as an Election Judge. If interested, please email Dr. Zelaya to receive via Election Judge and Voter Registration Application via e-mail (future.vote@montgomerycountymd.gov or Gilberto.zelaya@montgomerycountymd.gov)

    How do I register my child(ren)?


    1) Provide Parent/Guardian NAME, DATE of BIRTH and E-MAIL to receive temporary password.

    2) Retrieve temporary password from e-mail account provided.

    3) Click "Sign-In" to complete application process by typing in temporary password and e-mail provided at pre-registration.

    4) Follow system prompt to change temporary password.

    5) Complete Future Vote application by selecting training date and precinct location/shift during the online registration.

    6) Parent/Guardian and child(ren) must attend mandatory training to serve.

    7) Additional instructions provided at training.


    Future Vote Articles:


    Teenagers are learning at the polls (Montgomery County Gazette)

    U.S. Teens Assist at Polling Places, Learn about Democracy (U.S. Department of State)

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