This is my after school crew. Two of them are my own children, and the other four are my friends’ children. I decided to take them all with me to vote, rather than going on my own later in the evening.
I wanted to show them with my actions, not just my words, that it is important to vote. I wanted them to know that there are people in the world who are not allowed to vote for the leader of their country, and there are others who risk their lives for the opportunity to vote.
I also wanted them to see what it was like. I wanted them to know where you go, what it looks like, where you stand in line, where they check your I.D., how you go behind the little booth, what the ballot looks like and that you write an x on the name that you want.
I hope that if they see all the steps, and they keep that in their memory, then when they turn 18 and are allowed to vote, it will not seem scary or unknown – they will not feel overwhelmed by the process, they will not be afraid to look foolish by not knowing what to do.
I also hope that by being included they will feel like an important part of our community. They will know that their questions and comments about the political process are taken seriously. They will see that they are welcomed in this space by all the volunteers – they will feel the positive reinforcement and will know that this is something that they should be involved in.
I would like to believe that by including them, I planted a small idea in their heads, that will move around in the back of their minds while they are growing up, that the adults who love them and care for them and respect them hope that they grow up to be engaged in their community and in the politics of our whole country.