Southern California -- this just in

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Local teens inspecting county ballots

June 8, 2010 |  9:39 pm

They may not be old enough to vote yet, but come election night a couple hundred teenagers from local high schools are entrusted with inspecting ballots for the county.

Parents drop the kids off at the Los Angeles County registrar's office in Norwalk, where they man the inspection tables, fanning stacks of ballots for bends, tears and other imperfections.

They may giggle and shout more than their adult counterparts, but no matter, registrar officials say.

"Young eyes," said Gordon Fisher, a longtime ballot supervisor. "You've got to focus them sometimes, but they make very few errors. They bring a lot of energy."

Ray Saavedra, a 17-year-old (two days away from voting age, he mused) from nearby Bell Gardens High School, said he volunteered for the extra credit points.

Asked if he felt prepared, he offered a sarcastic thumbs-up as his classmates laughed.

"Nah, I got this" he said.

Teachers and registrar officials hovered over the teens. Along with extra credit, many come to get a primer for government classes.

"We're learning how the process works," said April Elliot, 17, a student at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs. "You get to understand how it works behind the scenes."

-- Robert Faturechi