Teaching Kids about Voting

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I don’t always vote–maybe once every 3 or 4 elections–and when I do, I have always voted LP where possible (except for my first vote, in 1984, for Reagan). This year, however, I can’t bring myself to vote for any of the candidates running for President–Obama and McCain are obviously out, and I can’t see voting for Barr, the Libertarian candidate, either (see L. Neil Smith’s criticism). But this year, I want to take my 5 year old to the polls so he can see democracy in action (with appropriate commentary from Dad). So I’ve decided we’ll go together, sign in, go into the booth; I’ll show him how the machine works, and all the abominable choices–and then we’ll leave. I figure if his friends ask him about his trip to the polls, and ask him who his daddy voted for, they won’t be able to comprehend his answer.Update: A Canadian reader writes as follows:

We just had our Federal election up here in Canada.

While we don’t get to vote for Prime Minister and can only vote for the local Member of Parliament, the choices were not good at all (for my riding at least): we had 4 socialists and a separatist (whose party I couldn’t vote for anyway) as the national leaders, and there was not a local candidate I could vote for in good conscience either.

Anyway, I took my 4 year-old son with me, I showed him how we would mark an ‘X’ on the paper ballot of the candidate we wanted to vote for. Then, we spelled out N-O-P-E, one letter in each of the 4 boxes on the ballot to spoil it.

That is one great thing about paper ballots, you can always be sure to spoil them.

Good luck with your voting.

Update: Re: Teaching Kids about Voting

11:44 pm on October 20, 2008