Fostering curiosity in kids (and their parents) since 2011

Today’s the day! Let’s go vote!

A Massachusetts woman canvassing to raise support for the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. The amendment passed by a one-vote margin on August 18, 1920, when 50 of the 99 members of the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to extend suffrage to women. (Image via Buzzfeed)

The Five-Year-Old and I are fired up about our chance to go vote this morning. I’ve taken her with me to vote in every election since she’s been born. The poll ladies just love her.

I’m lucky in that the lines in our district tend to move quickly (and that I only have one child to deal with). Although I take a tote bag filled with crayons, paper, books, and a fully charged iPhone just in case, I haven’t had to use any of it yet. So far, the attention The Five-Year-Old receives from the poll workers and the other voters in line has kept her patient and engaged in the process. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will be true again today.

After all these years of toting her to the polls with me when I go, voting has become just one of those things The Five-Year-Old and I do together. I’m very glad it has because as the parent of a child in a democracy, it’s my responsibility to impress upon The Five-Year-Old how important it is that everyone who is able to vote, votes.

The fact that my polling district is typically fairly efficient makes it very easy for me to simply bring her along. But if I were in an area where we regularly had to wait in line for hours, I don’t know if I would have made it a habit to bring her. And that would have made teaching her the importance of voting quite a bit harder.

What about you? Do you take your kids with you to vote? If so, what do you do to help them cope with potentially long lines?

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3 Responses to “Today’s the day! Let’s go vote!”

  1. Tamara

    this was the first preidential election that my girls (18 and 20) got to vote in–pretty exciting stuff…we mail in our ballots out here in Seattle, but my girls called several times in the process, we talked about the various initiatives (legalize marijuana? marriage equality! charter schools?) and smaller races in our area. M called when she was posting hers, and we talked as she mailed it. C proudly told me she sent hers in “last week!”

    I took them with me to the polls when they were small–dunno if they remember, would have to ask them–but between family dinners and social media, we talk about politics a lot more than my parents, my brother and I ever did. I am glad it is important to them, and something they feel comfortable talking about with me and their dad.

    And this morning, I have to say, we are all feeling pretty darn good. 🙂


    • Shala Howell

      I ended up taking The Five-Year-Old out on Election Day to do some canvassing for one of our local candidates. And it turned out to be a lot of fun. No need to talk anyone into anything, just encourage them to do something I believe is essential for our democracy: Get to the poll and vote. The Five-Year-Old had a blast, because she adores meeting people, decorating their doors with signs, and walking around outside where there are lots of cool leaves and pine cones and such to collect. On our way home, she asked if we could make it an Election Day tradition. I suspect we just might…



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