Flint teen election worker reflects on critical role on Election Day

He may be too young to vote, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t get involved
Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 9:15 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (11/04/2020) - He may be too young to vote, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t get involved.

One of Flint’s youngest election workers is just 16-years-old.

“I feel like the time is now to do something," Antonio Sweeney said.

While his peers were still fast asleep at 5:30 in the morning on Election Day, Sweeney was reporting to Haskell Community Center in Flint.

He was ready to get to work.

“I got the chance to be a greeter, which was pretty fun, so basically I gave out the basic information along with telling people where to go and just keeping a smile on peoples' face," Sweeney said.

Sweeney says even though he’s too young to cast his own ballot, it was important to have a role in a presidential election as big and as historic as this one.

“For right now, what I’m going to do is spread as much awareness as I can, whether that’s sharing a Tweet about voting or sharing out some poll information or simply being a poll worker," Sweeney said.

ABC12 spoke with Flint Clerk, Inez Brown, who says Sweeney was one of about 20 election workers spread across Flint’s 61 precincts who are 16 or 17-years-old.

During this election, recruiting those young people was their goal for the long run.

“I think a blending of the old and the new, where the young can learn from the old, but the old can learn from the young as well, and it brings about a good blend for our community," Brown said.

Sweeney says he’s confident he can encourage more young people into the mix. He says as soon as he posted on social media about what he was doing and a live interview with ABC12 on Tuesday, he received tons of positive feedback.

“I feel like me doing this and the other amount of things that I do, somebody is going to say, ‘Man, I can be just like him,’ you know? It’s me setting a stepping stone for future generations and my generation to follow me," Sweeney said.

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