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Politikids: Why Parents Should Take Their Kids to the Polls

You may need to be 18 to cast a vote, but you're never too young to have an opinion. This is why I have brought my kids to the voting booths since they were born. I grew up listening to my mother say, "You can't complain if you don't vote" so I registered as soon as I earned the right. Moms and dads worried about the line at their polling place need not. The upcoming election may be the most important one we vote in and as parents our children will be affected by who we support. To make the experience fun for future voters of America, check out our tips!

  • Put a "Countdown to Vote" calendar on your refrigerator and have your lil ones tear the days away
  • Teach them a lil election etiquette — we all have the right to make our own choices, but need to be respectful other others, too
  • Help them make a button that says, "I'll be voting in 2020!" (or whatever year they are of age) to wear to the polls.
  • Bring along a makeshift ballot for them to fill out while you cast your vote.
  • Allow them to pull the lever in the booth
  • Have your child hand in your ballot
  • Give them your voting sticker and treat it like a badge of honor

To check out our ideas for older children,


  • Prep them on the issues that directly affect them like education and simply explain what each candidate promises and ask them who they support
  • Have a dinnertime debate and allow each family member to argue for their candidate
  • Set up a mock-election party


Greggie Greggie 9 years
Our poll lines are short and no one in line sees where you sign your name. You hand a driver's license to the worker, they find your name on the list, and then the list is put away. The person who's next in line is too far back to see anything, and nothing is said out loud. They're also generally in places where bathrooms are easily accessed.
letsgetloud21 letsgetloud21 9 years
Lickety,I know those places are horrible,but when I did poll watching it was at a mexican church and the people of the church got the great idea to make tacos and sell them,they must have made thousands.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
My mom always took me when I was a kid and I loved it. She would let me turn the little levers (it was a crazy old voting booth) to the ones she wanted and then she would let me have her "I voted" sticker. It made it fun and made me interested. I still won't do absentee for the reason that I think it's more fun to go and "push the buttons" even if it is electronical now. I can't wait until my son is big enough to take him.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I think not campaigning inside the actual polling place doesn't curtail freedom of speech. I always wondered what the "lever" was when voting, though. We've never had one. *lol*
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i wouldn't take my children. it's a long, boring wait, there are no bathrooms, and i don't want anyone looking at my kids and then at where i signed my name to see where my kids live. my girls have "get out and vote" buttons on their backpacks, they know the election is 11/4, who is running and what it will mean for our family if the other candidate wins :( and they know they each get their turn to vote when they turn 18
Sarana Sarana 9 years
I always went with my parents to vote and they would let me colour in the spot with the red pencil. I was looking forward to my own real vote and than they just started with the computers! I was disapointed that I couldn't colour it in like I used to as a child. I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to wear a shirt with a candidate, isn't it an important freedom to be able to be free to expres what you believe in?
anniekim anniekim 9 years
I didn't know you could bring kids to the polls. I'll definitely do so this year. and I won't wear a politico t-shirt!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I agree, letsgetloud. I'm totally ok with the policy. The year I wore it, I honestly didn't realize I had, I wore the shirt to bed and woke up at 6 am to go vote. *lol*
HeidiMD HeidiMD 9 years
I vividly remember my dad bringing me with him to vote for Reagan in 1984! :-D
letsgetloud21 letsgetloud21 9 years
I live in Wisconsin and was a poll watcher and I was actually told to watch out for people that have certain buttons,shirts ect. I only say one that day,but it was so busy they told me just to ignore it. I really don't think you should be allowed to wear anything like that personally.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I never take the chance anymore either. I didn't know it was the policy the first year I did it. They wouldn't even let me tape a piece of paper over it, I had to actually put something on over it or change it altogether.
amerikanbeanhead amerikanbeanhead 9 years
In California at least * Ooops! :P
amerikanbeanhead amerikanbeanhead 9 years
They can and will send you home if you are wearing a political t-shirt. I worked in the primaries and I had to send several people home. Why risk the waste of time of having to go home?
jessie jessie 9 years
oregon has mail in ballots only......that i know of....i've only lived for 9 i could be wrong
Tech Tech 9 years
This is great! I use to go with my parents to the polling stations and would feel like such a "grown up." Like I was doing my part... Too funny.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Meaning I was sent home to change, not sent home because I was grounded. ;) I wasn't allowed to vote with the shirt on.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
They're not in my area of California - I was sent home a few years back when I had on a tshirt with a candidate on it. People were sent home for even having on Terminator tshirts during the run-off election.
meandtheo meandtheo 9 years
thanks for the heads up, i do live in CA but went to the polls dressed that way in the primaries...maybe they are more lenient here
Greggie Greggie 9 years
meandtheo, make sure you don't live in a state that doesn't allow political statements within a certain amount of feet of polling. Tshirts are included in that. I know Arizona and California both aren't supposed to allow it, and Arizona at least is extremely strict on it.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
We've always brought our kids as well.
meandtheo meandtheo 9 years
my daughter and i will be going to the polls all decked out in our matching Obama shirts (how freakin' cheesy, love it) in TWO WEEKS! She will get her own I Voted sticker and proudly wear it all day..well at least until she tries to eat it!
amerikanbeanhead amerikanbeanhead 9 years
I know when my mom would take me to go vote when I was little they gave me like a little fake ballot and we got to vote for mr.jones, miss smith etc I thought it was the coolest thing ever And now Im a political science major :p
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
I'm SO pissed at myself. I must have signed up for a mail in ballot ages ago and now that I have it, I'm not allowed to vote at the polls. I was so looking forward to going with my son and experiencing it all. Yeah, he's too young to know, but I still thought it would be a good thing. Stupid error.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I love the idea of getting young ones involved from the beginning!
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