The state senate has decided the state does not need paid elections judges who are too young to vote. Senator Tim Green of Spanish Lake says young people are allowed to work as volunteers at polling places. he thinks they should be paid.

The legislature passed a law in 1994 setting up a youth election judges system for young people wanting to work at the polls but they are not paid. 

Green says young people often are better able to handle technology that is increasingly used in polling places than many senior judges can.  He also says giving full paid status to young people would alleviate the problems some election authorities have rounding up enough people to be poll workers. 

But St. Louis Senator Jim Lembke worries that young judges could be intimidated by judges who’ve been working polling places for decades. Green acknowledges that possibility and notes his son, who volunteered at a polling place last year came home frustrated by the refusal of older judges to use technology available to them, saying he would never volunteer for such work again. 

Green’s proposal failed on a 9-22 vote.  A couple of Republicans voted with Green and the other six Democrats.

 Listen to the debate 10:56 mp3