MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — One thing you might notice when you head to the polls on November 8th–a lot of teens.

In Ohio, 17-year-old seniors in high school can serve as poll workers, even though they cannot vote.

This year more than 100 17-year-old high school seniors in Montgomery County will help run the polls on Election Day as part of the Youth at the Booth program.

“They’ll greet voters. They’ll work the sign-in stations. They’ll assist voters with the touch screens and the selection area, and they will assist voters with the scanners and getting their stickers at the end of the day,” describes Sarah Greathouse the Deputy Director of Montgomery County Board of Elections. 

Youth at the Booth is a statewide program, and every year more students get involved.

“We have seen an uptick in interest among students about political systems. I think one of the things we are seeing with the rise of social media–there is so much access to information that kids might not have gotten in previous generations when it was just their parents watching the evening news,” describes Greathouse.

Students who work the polls will get paid at least $125, and it can count towards service hours. 

“It’s a great opportunity for students to see how the democratic process runs and get a behind the scenes look at it,” says 17-year-old West Carrollton High School student Nathan Lewallen. 

Students can help fill a crucial need for poll workers on Election Day.  According to the Secretary of State, the goal number of poll workers is more than 35,000 in Ohio.

“Adults have a negative view of teenagers, and I think it’s good for the voters to see young, responsible adults out in the community. I think it breaks down those barriers or those stereotypes that might have of teenagers in today’s world,” states West Carrollton High School teacher, Peggy Carlisle.

While the students are not old enough to vote, they know just how important voting is.

“As students, we are the next voices of this generation and being able to get out there to help everyone who is younger and older and the same age as us—it’s a great honor to make the impact,” says Lewallen. 

There are also unpaid volunteer opportunities such as line management, cleaning voting machines, or assisting election officials for those who are younger than 17.