High school senior participates in 'Youth at the Booth' state program

High school senior participates in 'Youth at the Booth' state program

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Roughly 30 percent of voters in Lucas County showed up at the polls last week. Some voters may have noticed one or maybe several young poll workers.

Ramona Stephenson, a 17-year-old senior at Scott High School is not only too young to vote, but she also is not a citizen.

But, that didn't stop her from being a part of the election process. Ramona moved from Jamaica to the U.S. with her mother three years ago. She's currently on a 10-year visa.

With help from her assistant principal Sherry Reed., Ramona spent more than 12 hours working the poll at Hawkins Elementary during last week's election.

"For her to see the process here gives her a whole new perspective, may even be thinking about running for an office one day. I see big things for this young lady," said Reed.

It may take years before Ramona becomes an American Citizen and can exercise her right to vote.  She has a message for the 70 percent of registered voters in Lucas County who didn't vote.

"If you don't go out and vote, then after the fact you say 'Oh I don't like this candidate they shouldn't have won,' Why didn't you do something about it?  Why didn't you show up and have your vote make a difference in who gets elected," Ramona asked.

Lucas County Board of election officials said the statewide program is called "Youth At The Booth."

By law, one 17-year-old high school senior is selected per precinct. Each students is paid $140 for the day.

Ramona said she definitely plans to be involved in some way for the next election.

In the meantime, she's working to keep her grades up and aiming to be Scott High School's 2018 valedictorian.

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