Too Young To Vote, But Not To Volunteer

Two students from Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Mich., are volunteering at an election precinct. The two friends don't share the same political viewpoints. Ashley Harte and Scott Stoddard are too young to vote, but they tell Renee Montagne this election is too thrilling to miss.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Today's election means our next guests go to work. They are usually in class at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan. Instead, these two seniors will be volunteering at a nearby precinct. And they both join us on the line now from their high school campus. Ashley Harte, good morning.

Ms. ASHLEY HARTE (Student, Seaholm High School): Good morning.

MONTAGNE: And Scott Stoddard, good morning to you.

Mr. SCOTT STODDARD (Student, Seaholm High School): Good morning.

MONTAGNE: How is it that two teenagers who - you're both too young to vote - will be working at the polls?

Ms. HARTE: Well, actually, we've been given this opportunity by our government course. Our teacher was like, does anyone want to get involved, want to work? And a bunch of people signed up. But it was really great to just be picked and, you know, have the option to do it.

MONTAGNE: Now, here might be a moment to say you're good friends, but you have very different political points of view.

Ms. HARTE: Yes, we do.

MONTAGNE: And you Scott are for...

Mr. STODDARD: Republican.

MONTAGNE: You're Republican. And Ashley?

Ms. HARTE: I'm a Democrat, or would be voting Democrat.

MONTAGNE: You must have some lively conversations.

Ms. HARTE: We do. We definitely do. It's always an adventure talking to Scott about politics. Yeah, we get into some debates at times, but they usually end up to be a good thing.

MONTAGNE: And Scott? Is it an adventure from your point of view talking to Ashley?

Mr. STODDARD: Yeah. It's really great. When you have somebody who's intelligent from the other viewpoint, you can actually sit down and make progress on how you feel issues should be taken care of as opposed to just yelling, which I think is absolutely worthless.

MONTAGNE: Well, that's a nice idea, and it feels like the heart of democracy. But I'm wondering if either of you think you've won the other over, or partly over.

Mr. STODDARD: No.

Ms. HARTE: I'd say no.

Mr. STODDARD: Yeah, definitely not.

Ms. HARTE: I come from a family of Democrats and Republicans, so it's great to be like, Scott, why does my Dad think this? And he'll be like, well, maybe it's from this perspective. It's more of a respectful exchange than a I'm going to make you do what I want to do kind of thing.

MONTAGNE: How much excitement do you see among people of your age about this election?

Mr. STODDARD: A huge amount. People are really becoming active and working for campaigns. I worked for Mitt Romney's campaign in the primary cycles. I know plenty of people who are canvassing the city as Barack Obama workers, just doing the little part that they can to help who they think is the better candidate.

MONTAGNE: It sounds like you're really thinking this through, and you know, we really appreciate you taking time to talk with us.

Mr. STODDARD: Yeah. No problem.

Ms. HARTE: Thank you so much for talking with us.

Mr. STODDARD: It's a great opportunity.

MONTAGNE: Scott Stoddard and Ashley Harte are students at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan.

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