Huffpost Politics

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner Headshot

"Yard sign! No punch backs!" Take a Child to Vote

Posted: Updated:

"Yard sign! No punch backs!" is a common refrain yelled with joyful
exuberance from my backseat these days. My two children, ages ten and
seven, have taken politics to a new, uncharted level. They've picked
their favorite political yard signs and made a variation on the "Punch
Buggy" game--the game where you pick a VW bug car of a certain color and
whoever sees it first gets to softly punch the person next to them.

It's safe to say that some short members of my household are going to be
very, very sad when the election is over tonight (yes, tonight!) and the
yard signs come down.

Tuesday, November 7th is here. It's time to vote, time to remind all
friends and family to vote, and time to... take a child to vote...

TAKE A CHILD TO VOTE TODAY: Why? Well, in the words of my 10 year old,
"It sorta will help teach kids it's good to vote, and it also sorta
helps kids' parents because their own kids might have good suggestions
about who to vote for, and also the kids can learn their own little ways
of how to decide who to vote for in the future."

This is from the same kid who recently said, "If absolutely nobody
voted, then we'd end up with a baby or bank robber elected to
office--and no one wants that!"

Seriously, studies show taking children to vote with you, or even having
them help fill out the bubbles of your absentee ballot on the kitchen
counter, helps them remember to vote when they grow up. So by bringing a
child to vote, you are not only turning in your own vote in the present
moment, you're also building our future democracy.

This is vitally important because right now more young people (aged
fifteen to twenty-six years old) know the name of the fictional hometown
for the television family the Simpsons than know the political party of
their state's governor or the political party that controls Congress.
And, voter participation among young people has been dropping much
faster than that of any other segment of our society. Bringing kids to
vote will help turn that trend around, and ensure a vital democracy in
the years to come.

always so easy to take what sometimes amounts to a traveling circus with
you to vote. Give a friend a break and volunteer to watch a child or
two, or three, or more while the parents take time to go vote. Heck you
can start your own homework and traveling circus show while giving
democracy a leg up. Maybe even throw in a speech to the kids you're
watching about the importance of them voting in the future and get good
karma points for democracy.

BUG, BOTHER, SEND, & FUN: Bug friends, bother family, send e-mails to
your entire list reminding people to vote today! And remember to have
fun--make voting a snazzy field trip, a dramatic moment of power, a
snapshot in time to recall in later years.

Then let's cross our fingers that we all celebrate later tonight knowing
we bugged, badgered, volunteered, and even lectured small children to
our fullest potential!

Happy Election Day! - Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner and the