The Cook County Clerk’s office and the Chicago White Sox will honor 17-year-old Erica McQueen for her work as a deputy registrar during a pre-game ceremony at Comiskey Park tonight.
McQueen will join 50 other top suburban high school students who participated in Cook County Clerk David Orr’s First Voter and First Judge programs. The White Sox organization donated the tickets and honored the most active students, all of whom had served as voluntary deputy registrars or teen election judges.
"Our Teen Democracy programs empower young people by enabling them to play a valuable roll in the electoral process," Orr said. "These students have each demonstrated that democracy isn’t for spectators and that they can make a difference."
McQueen, who will attend Augustana College and major in education in the fall, recently graduated from Maine South High School in Park Ridge. As a deputy registrar, McQueen registered more than 50 people, most of whom were added to the voting rolls for the first time.
During the past school year, 332 seniors from 45 suburban Cook County high schools signed up 3,555 new voters through the First Voter program. Since the program began in 1991, more than 4,000 teens have been trained as registrars and some 45,000 voters have been added to the rolls.
Many of the students attending Tuesday’s game also participated in the Clerk’s First Voter program that enables qualified high school seniors to serve as election judges. Approximately 400 high school seniors served as election judges during the 2002 primary election and more are expected to serve in the November general election. The First Judge program recently took first place honors in a "Best Practices" contest conducted by a national association of election authorities.