West Haven High School Students to Work the Polls on Election Day

Most students in West Haven will stay home from school on Election Day, but for 48 high schoolers, it's a class day.

Students taking Advanced Placement Government and Politics are required to volunteer with a political campaign and work at least two hours when the polls open.

"Doing lit drops, canvassing, making phone calls, doing stuff at headquarters, boiler room activities – that's American politics," said Mark Consorte, who has taught the class since 1997.

When Consorte began teaching, campaign offices would feature banks of telephones. Now a volunteer at the Democratic headquarters in West Haven, student Destiny Halapin uses her own smartphone to make calls.

"It's a lot of talking to the people and trying to be like, 'What are your views here?'" she explained.

Another student, Kendall Griffiths, has worked closely with a Republican candidate for the state legislature in Orange, logging data from the most recent canvassing on a laptop.

"Honestly, even if it wasn't required, I probably would have come out," Griffiths said. "It's just something that I like to do.

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