Youth manning the polls on Election Day in Bristol Virginia
BRISTOL, Va. - It was a long day for poll workers across the nation, but polling locations in Bristol, Virginia had a boost of energy this year with some younger helpers.
While thousands are making their vote count, Bristol Virginia Election Administrator, Penny Limburg, was making sure everything ran smoothly at the polls. This year she had some extra help with young volunteers lending a hand.
"It's exciting for them and it's exciting for us," said Limburg. "We always want to encourage young people to participate and be civically involved, and what better way than to be an election officer at the polls."
The national average age of a poll officer is around 70-years-old. At only 18, Levi Smith is the youngest officer at the polls in Bristol Virginia, and he said it's been a lifelong dream.
"I actually like to joke that politics was my sports when I was little," said Smith. "I was never interested in sports at all, but I was always fascinated by election coverage and stuff. I would make electoral maps and stuff of who I think would win."
Smith said he hopes more people his age will get involved in the election process.
"I think it's a privilege we have as American citizens," said Smith. "I mean there's a lot of other people around the world who don't have a chance to have a say in government, and we in America do so I think that's pretty special."
That's exactly what Virginia High School students were doing by volunteering on Election Day. While they can't vote or be election officers yet, by volunteering they were learning all about the process.
"I direct people which booth to go into, and if they have questions I help them out, and I was handing out stickers earlier that was fun," said 17-year-old student, Kaiziana Johnson.
Now 15-year-old volunteer Ethan Fuller says he's counting down to when it's his turn to have a say.
"I wish I could vote in every election to be honest," said Fuller.