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BOHS students participate in California primary

4 years ago by in ( BBON , News )
An increasing amount of young people participated in the California primary, even some from Brea Olinda High School.

An increasing amount of young people participated in the California primary, even some from Brea Olinda High School.

Over a dozen students from Brea Olinda High School volunteered as a student poll worker for the California primary on Tuesday, many of them too young to vote. And while the California primary witnessed many surprising (and some not-so-surprising) results on Tuesday, an increased participation among the youth demographic this year follows a growing national trend.

    “I wanted to volunteer because I finally started to pay attention to politics this year,” Rianne Paracuelles, junior, said. “Even though I can’t vote, I still wanted to fulfill my civic duty by helping out. Also I learned a lot about how official the process is and how important it is that every single person votes because it really does matter.”

      BOHS student poll workers were placed all over Orange County, arriving at their assigned poll location at 6 a.m. and ending as late as 10 p.m. All poll workers are required to undergo a training session where they learn how to process voters, how to set up their location site, and how to prepare for various scenarios. At the training, volunteers were told to expect a high voter turnout this year, considering the high election turnouts across the country. In addition, poll workers learned how to set up the electronic voting booths, as Orange County is one of the two counties in California that is allowed to use them.

        “It was a really cool experience. My team worked around a 15-hour day, so it was definitely exhausting, but I got to learn a ton about what kind of things constitute a voting day,” Hannah Towbin, junior, said. “So many different kinds of people came out to vote, which I thought represented our modern American culture, and each person for the most part was really nice. We had a couple of frustrating ones though, like a man who showed up with a Bernie shirt on. Unfortunately we had to ask him to come back with a new shirt because it’s policy that he couldn’t represent any one person or party, but everything else went really smoothly.”

          Prior to the primary, many students and teachers at BOHS took part in electioneering on campus. History teacher Eugene Lee was known for his advocacy of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and decorated his room with campaign buttons and posters. History teacher Jeff Sink regularly discussed the election in his classes, educating his students on not only the political issues and candidates, but the political process as well, such as the difference between a primary and a caucus or the purpose of superdelegates. Some students went to campaign rallies, such as in April, when a group of students took off during a school day to attend a Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles. The group was invited to stand behind the senator, and at one point, senior Kyle Kirk fainted during the rally.

            And in early May, workers from the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaign came to BOHS during a lunch period one day, encouraging eligible students to register to vote and recruiting volunteers for the campaign. During the California primary, the high voter turnout matched the 2008 election turnout as early as 10 a.m., according to Neal Kelley, the Orange County Registrar of Voters. And from there, voter turnout continued to increase among all demographics.

              “Working at a polling place was definitely worth doing despite the long hours. Seeing how voting works today will make me a more well-educated voter in the future, I hope,” Towbin said.
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Anabel King is a student reporter for Beautiful Brea Old and New. You can contact this writer at

  • Anabel King

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