By Lucas Vogel

Mikva Challenge works with the Chicago Board of Elections to train high school students to serve as election judges for local and national elections. High school student Lucas Vogel shares his experience helping voters cast their ballot.

When I first set my sights on working with Mikva Challenge’s student election judges program, I really just was thinking about the money. With the training you do, you can make up to 200 dollars for every election, and it seemed like a pretty easy way to make cash. However my first time last November showed me there was a lot more to just the money. I met amazing people, and had a great time, so I decided to sign up for the February election too.

Lucas Vogel (left) participated in Mikva Challenge’s student judges program, where high schoolers are trained to serve as election judges at polling sites throughout the city of Chicago.

During this election, I served again with my friends from November. From an old hispanic man named Joe with witty comments and a hilarious attitude, to an old polish lady fluent in polish and a very interesting background as a chemist, I loved my co-judges. They knew what they were doing, and they made the hours just fly by.

Another great aspect of my time was the voters. Everyone had a fun attitude going into it, and it really made me feel like a part of the community. I was able to vote for my first time as well, and once I did everyone gave me a round of applause, which just felt amazing.

From amazing people, to voters, to the pay, election judging is one thing I did not see myself loving so much. All I know is that I can’t wait to serve again in April, and I hope to see all you voters there!