I take my status as an American citizen very seriously, and made sure to vote weeks ago. (I live in Oregon, so my vote comes by way of a mailed ballot. No long lines for me!)
I also take my job as a mom very seriously, so I made sure my twins (age 7) saw my ballot, saw me go through each measure on said ballot and weigh the pros and cons of each side, then carefully fill in my selection. I showed them all the mailers I’d saved from each side of the fence, and the master voting pamphlet that contains a summary of each measure. I made sure they saw me consult all of this before I filled in each circle. (Pet Peeve alert…blindly filling in circles without properly educating yourself on what you’re voting for!)
I’ve explained the voting process with enough detail that they now understand the basics of how our president is elected, how long he/she is able to be the president including how long the term is and how they can run for only a total of two terms, why they can’t vote yet, and above all how important it is for each of them to vote once they’re old enough.
Over the past few weeks I’ve answered a barrage of questions, and been constantly amazed at how their little minds learn the voting process.
For example…after watching me take all the care in the world with filling in my ballot my twins now insist it would be much easier if everyone in America could just get together in one room and “raise their hand” to signify their vote instead of going through all the rigmarole of filling out the ballot and mailing it in. (Now they understand how impossible that is due to sheer population, but I have to say I agree with the principal of the idea 🙂 )
They also had a hard time grasping that a vote for President also included a vote for the Vice President at the same time. They thought since it was two separate people, it would be two separate votes. I handled this by explaining how since the two acted together as a team, they were elected as a team.
Lastly, after comprehending that a President can only serve two four year terms, they stumped me with the following question…if a current president lost their reelection campaign, could they run for Vice President in the next one? (Anyone out there know this one?)
This morning, after a hearty breakfast of cereal and cartoons, they spent their time before the bus arrival drawing the American flag on paper and then running through the house waving their flags. Both chose to wear shirts with the American flag imprint to celebrate Election Day, and hats that say “USA” on them.
How did you learn the voting process? Have you had the opportunity to explain the voting process to the younger generation?