Ever since my oldest son was born, every year, either my husband and I or just me alone would take our children along with us when we went to vote. I felt it was important for them to learn about the process and the importance of voting. We need to let our voices be heard and counted. Most years, we went as a family. Ever since we started homeschooling, I count it as an educational field trip.
Two years ago at the midterm election, our oldest son became old enough to vote. This year our second son was going to be eighteen in time to vote in the election. Back in March, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas. Upon arriving, my husband and I were registered to vote when we changed our drivers’ licenses from one state to the other. Then a few months later, my mom and two oldest sons were registered to vote.
So yesterday afternoon, we loaded everyone up into the van and drove to the voting location, even our youngest two who could not vote. Upon arrival, I saw a line of people and expected we would have to wait. But, they were in a different line from the one we needed to be in to actually vote. Because nothing is ever simple for our family, I had hidden my second son’s voter registration card from myself. So I quickly said a prayer that he would have no problem. I stepped up to sign in first. Once I signed in, I asked about our second son. The lady informed me she would use his identification information to look him up. My daughter, our youngest who is not a crowd person, chose to walk with me. We were taken to the voting booth and the lady made sure I knew how to use the machine. I began the voting process while my daughter watched. My husband and oldest two sons were each shown a booth in turn. Finally, our youngest son decided to stay with my mother. I finished first and exited the voting area with our daughter. We waited in the hallway for everyone else.
My husband was the next to exit the room. Then our oldest son exited followed shortly by my mom and youngest son. So all that was left for us to do was wait for my second son to exit. I suggested my oldest son take the keys to our van so my mom, youngest two and himself could get settled into the van. As they headed to the exit, my husband and I waited for our other son. I could not figure out what was taking him so long. About the time I was ready to look back at the voting room, I saw him. Uninformed by the person instructing him on the proper voting procedures, he exited the same door we had entered the room. So we did not see him come out since he went and sat on a bench to wait for us.
The funnier or scarier thought is when the next election rolls around, my other two children will be old enough to vote. I pray we have instructed them in the way they should go so they will take this responsibility seriously.
So if you have children, do you take them with you to vote?