How to Share the Voting Experience with Kids

Are there future voters in your home? As a former political campaign worker I feel passionate about bringing the thrill of election season to everyone. I’ve even been known to give babies ‘I voted stickers’ when they come out of the booth attached to their mom or dad!

baby-in-voting-booth

My first election experience was for Jeanne Shaheen when she first ran and was elected Governor of New Hampshire. Her campaign promise was to bring public kindergarten to the state. Being a recently kindergarten graduate I knew that private school was expensive so I cheered for her at all the local rallies and was thrilled when she won. From that moment on I was bitten with a political bug. I worked on political campaigns a volunteer, intern, staff member, manager, and consultant right through 2014.

Prior to joining the Obama for American 2012 campaign I was an NH campaign manager.  My spark for political campaigns was dwindling. Thankfully another manager in the building reignited my passion. He invited me to meet Ms. Shaheen again! Unfortunately that night I was busy with another event. But it was a thrill to know that a candidate I supported when I was 5 years old was now running for re-election to the US Senate!

Although I currently am not working in politics, I still enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with other. I love it when children want to be politically activity and excited about the process. It might not turn them into a political consultants, staff members, or candidates, but it will help them understand more about how the US government works.

The year after my first candidate, (Jeanne Shaheen) became my Governor, I told my Brownie Troop all about it. I learned that Girl Scouts is not a place for partisan politics (if you are sharing this with your little ones, now is a good moment to explain why these conversations even make some children hot under the collar). Thankfully, everyone was getting as excited for the next election as I was (yippee!) My troop’s leaders helped us find ways to get involved.

We decided to give out Get Out The Vote (GOTV) reminder flyers the local Board of Elections had. We sat at the grocery store to sell our fall products (in the 1990s that was just boring calendars) and also gave the flyers to everyone that passed by. I like to think it helped because the voter turnout in our area was high for a small local race.

You know how I know that?

We went to the polling place and thanked people for voting and helped give out “I voted” stickers, showed people the entrance, and entertained people in line.

It was fun!

I was lucky because my mom let me go in the booth, stand on her toes, and  fill in all the bubbles she pointed too! Then when my dad came to get me, he went inside and let me do it for his ballot too!

Yeah, voting rocks. Now that I’ve lived in many states and outside the US I know that there are many ways and different days to vote. You can vote early, vote in your car, vote by mail, get a free ride to a polling place if you don’t have a vehicle, and even vote late (international absentee ballots can be counted through November 30th this year), oh and you can still go to the booth and vote if your traditional but I know you are cool like me and want to vote by mail, right?

Ok so are you ready?

Attached are all the voting materials so they can get the whole vote by mail/absentee experience or vote in a booth (on in a car if you/they so desire).  Just add your pen and an standard envelope. I’m sorry to say this is my copy so you cannot actually mail it but I want you to have the same feel I had today with I got my envelope ready.

This file includes:

  • a real vote by mail envelope covers (print in Envelope DL to fit a standard size envelope)
  • a real vote by mail envelope seal.
  • voter registrations
  • voter IDs
  • polling official badge
  • polling station signs
  • ‘I voted’ stickers
  • 4 different age levels of classroom curricula
  • 2016 Presidential Election Voting kits for preschool-high school
  • “Election 2016 Guide for Young People” ebook

To receive your instant download link submit your email below.

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Once you open the confirmation email to confirm your address follow the link to open your free instant download of Future Voters Kits.

Please review everything and choose the best method for your little one to experience the first thrills of voting.  Please note none of the files attached are my own. These files are official voting materials produced by FVAP and free educational materials (not included in those two links) produced by nonprofits as well as other bloggers, homeschoolers, parents, and educators.

In addition to using the materials available above, parents, teachers, and youth volunteers can have the children make campaign posters, you can make poll stations with adults or older children as officials, have voting booth, ballot box, mailbox, or a US Embassy or Military base voting center to help the children cast their votes like their adult friends and family members.

future-voters

If you have decided to attend rallies, volunteer with candidates or parties, or get involved with a non-partisan GOTV campaign with your children I would love to know about it. Please feel free to contact me or leave a comment below to tell me about your experiences with your children and elections.

For more information or ideas go to:
kidsvotingusa.org
pbskids.org/youchoose
noorkids.com/writethepresident

Happy voting everyone! Have a great election day!!!

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