I wish there was early voting in my state. If there was, I would take advantage of it, especially so it would be easier to take PunditGirl, now a third-grader, to the polls with me to vote. She’s still going with me, but we may have to stand in line for a while to make that happen, rather than the quick in and out I try for in the slower daytime voting.
But that’s OK. Even though I had some serious election year funk at one point that caused me to wonder whether I would vote this year, I always knew I would. I have to — it’s too important. Which is why I’ve made a point of taking my daughter with me to “help” me vote whenever I could, starting from the time that she was in preschool (at our polling place, in addition to the obligatory ‘I voted’ sticker, they always give the kids Mardi Gras beads, too!) as many other moms do, as well.
Plenty of moms know how important sharing this experience is. So much so that the White House Project has launched its Take Our Daughters to the Polls project:
I have a feeling, though, lots of moms have been taking their daughters (and sons) into the voting booth with them, even without this great effort by the White House Project. Daughters younger than these girls in the video are making their way to the polls already. Meg over at Addie Baby blog, doesn’t usually write about politics, but she was adamant this year about taking her toddler with her for early voting:
I voted today because it’s important to me that Addison grow up to have the right to choose what’s best for her body. … I want Addison to grow up in a country that allows two people in love to get married regardless of their gender. … I want my daughter to know that I recognize the need for change in this country. I’m trying my best to be a part of it. That is why I took Addison to the polls today. Some will say that my vote may not matter much where I live, but it’s mine and I wasn’t about to waste it.
My pal Veronica at Viva la Feminista will definitely be taking her kindergartner with her to vote, as she always has, and wrote earlier this year about how politically astute her daughter is at this point, after having taken in the experiences of voting and talking politics in their home:
When I think about the awesome fact that she has an opinion on whether to vote for Barack or Hillary (she wants a tie, she likes them both) AND that she is willing to voice this opinion, I have to be super proud of her. And honestly, I’m pretty proud of us as parents.
Will she ever run for office? I haven’t a clue. But I know that she will grow up knowing that she should always vote and that the first Presidential race that she may recall will have a white woman or a black man on the top of the ticket.
We’re not raising a candidate, we’re raising a citizen.
There’s more to it than the act of voting though, because what does that mean if our daughters don’t grasp the issues that are at stake when one casts a ballot? That’s not a problem for the California family at Randomandodd blog, where a recent topic of family discussion was Proposition 8 and gay marriage:
The girls each had their point of view and each expressed their feelings on the matter with such passion. Keep in mind, my daughters are 10, 11 and 15. Most of the emotional commentary came from the younger ones who were SO pissed to even think that it’s even up for debate. I’ve expressed my feelings on the matter, but I don’t push politics down their throats, because the school has been doing a pretty good job of doing that. I had no idea how much they really knew until a McCain/Palin yard sign went up. You would think that someone was burning a cross on the lawn.…
“Mom, please don’t let them take the gayness away. If they take the gayness away then Ellen will be sad. I watch her show everyday and she’s happy being gay and if they take that away from her, she will be sad…and we will have to watch a SAD SHOW!”
It warms my political heart that there are so many focused and astute daughters out there. If this keeps up, after they get the ‘I voted’ stickers, we’ll have to start stocking up on a few of these T-shirts. I have a feeling they’ll be coming in handy real soon!
Cross-posted at BlogHer, where PunditMom is a Contributing Editor for Politics & News.