In our house, we’ve always treated Election Day like a holiday. My husband and I (especially my husband) are big political junkies and love to stay involved and know what is going on with the various campaigns in any given year. This year in particular there are a lot of races that we are watching closely that affect the entire state, as well as our local districts. We spend the evening of Election Day watching the results come in and it is a thrilling time for us (this explains us pretty well).
|Political activism, pre-Theo. I’m the one in the patriotic outfit.|
Ever since Theo was a tiny baby we have always taken him with us when we headed to the polling place on Election Day. (He was only 2 months old when he accompanied us to vote for the presidential election in 2008.) I’m kind of a traditionalist in that I want to vote on the actual Election Day rather than use mail-in or early voting (which are great options to have if it means that it will get people to vote at all!). Once Theo was a little older, we would explain in basic terms what it meant to vote and the right that we had as citizens to do so. There are so many extensions of lessons to teach around this topic: federal and state governments and process, the idea of civic duty, getting involved with things that affect you.
Without getting too political on this blog, some areas that we have used as accessible discussion points with Theo are explaining the ZAP tax and what that means (since he has experience with the places it affects). We also have discussed our views on marriage equality and how that affects people we know and love. There are lots of ways to bring political discourse into the family and you will have to see what things are appropriate for you to discuss.
All that said, I am a huge proponent of getting people involved and at the very least, showing up to VOTE! Here is a link to where you can find out information about voting: where your polling place is, registration details, etc.
In case you missed it,
In most areas of the Wasatch Front (including Salt Lake county), you can just show up on Election Day (November 4, 2014 this year) at your polling location with an ID and register to vote right there.
Throughout the year there are also opportunities to get involved with issues you and your family care about. You can attend gatherings of candidates you support or go to parades or rallies about issues of interest. I feel like other than talking to kids about these topics it is also important to just model what it means to be an involved citizen and to show what it means to vote. And they will get a free sticker too!