My teen voted for the first time today. The Librarian and I accompanied her to the polls to cast vote for this midterm election. The Bee was quite excited; pulling out her ID, signing the book and heading into the booth to cast her vote. Everyone at our polling place was quite lovely, they gave her a round of applause and gushed over her visiting the polls.
It was over in a few minutes and as we left the polls she said, “That’s it? That was easy!” I loved sharing this experience with her. I remember my first election, traveling by bus for over an hour to get back to the polling place near my house. It was something that made me feel adult and like I could have a say in what was happening in my community. So when some friends have denounced voting, it makes me sad. Sure, it’s their right and voting is not the only way to serve your community but how can you so easily throw away a small right?
There are times when the whole democratic process seems truly crap but not taking ten minutes to vote seems like a missed opportunity. Shoot, look at that thing y’all call president. I am still scratching my head at home he could lost the popular vote but win the electoral vote. And sure, there are more ways to serve the community than voting but voting seems like one more way to tell those elected officials that we see you and you have to answer to us.
We are watching the returns and The Bee is excited about being a part of the process. There is so much more work to be done in the country but seeing her interested has rekindled my interest in learning more about the election cycles and process. I usually do an election for kids at work but didn’t this year because of a scheduling conflict. I will make civics a part of my programs to be ready for what’s to come.
Meantime, I am going to get back to my podcasts and taking time to stay educated about the political system and conversations with my teen.