Politics/Law/Government

Election Reflection I: "Early" voting

My eight-year-old son, Jackson, was slow to wake this morning, and his voice was heavy with sleep when he finally spoke. “Today is the big day we get up and vote,” he said.

We had made plans on Monday: On the way to school, we would swing by the town office to cast my vote. He would go into the booth with me, as he always does, to push the levers. This election was particularly exciting for him since his class has been following it at school and I’ve been following it at home.

But my teenage daughter, through no fault of her own, foiled our plans. An unfortunate bout of stomach flu kept her home. My wife and I had to reshuffle our plans: She would take Jackson to school and I would take our daughter in late, after the flu hopefully passed.

My wife called me a little while later. She and Jackson had stopped to vote, and she was passing along to me explicit instructions from him: He wanted to vote in the morning with her (and had) and he wanted to vote in the afternoon with me, too–so I was NOT allowed to vote until after I picked him up from school. He would then vote with me on our way home.

So much for that whole “One person, one vote” notion, eh?

I realized yesterday how excited I was for this election’s arrival (and I’ll be ever more excited when it’s over). I eagerly await my chance to vote–but I’m willing to wait. If my eight-year-old is excited about the election, I want to do what I can to encourage his excitement. I hope he’ll always want to be this invested in our democracy.

The best way, I guess, is to vote early and vote often.

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  1. I took both of my children with me to the Colorado caucuses in February (it was bitter cold, but people with kids were being escorted to the front and inside, thankfully). And I took my then 7-month old son and 2-year old rambunctious daughter to the polling place in 2006. Neither got anything out of it besides a sticker and a bunch of adoring looks from poll workers.

    In 2010, though, I expect that my daughter might be old enough to appreciate a visit to the polls. She’s only barely “getting” today when my wife tries to explain it.

    But she’s positive that she’ll be the leader of the nation (or maybe the world – I don’t recall what exactly she said at bedtime last night) when she grows up.

    It’ll be nice to have a world where she could be.

  2. “The best way, I guess, is to vote early and vote often.”

    I’ll bet they vote often in the same election in places like Chicago:)

    Jeff