Voting with children

Security and traffic fears have persuaded some Cleveland-area schools that host polling places not to hold classes on Election Day.

What a shame. When I was in elementary school, I was excited by the chance to see my parents and grandmother coming to school to vote. It made voting seem grown-up and important, and yet accessible. I always vote in person; I’ve never missed an election, however minor.

Elsewhere, parents are being urged to take their children to the polls.

A group called Take Your Kids to Vote urges parents to bring their children, from toddlers to teens, to the polls when they vote, as a simple way to impress upon them the value of voting.

Via This Week in Education, which also reports that Barak Obama, almost certain to be elected senator in Illinois, supports charter schools and is open to school vouchers.

About Joanne


  1. I’m glad to hear that Obama supports charter schools and vouchers. We can only hope he doesn’t flip-flop once he sees the power wielded by the teachers’ unions over the Democrats. If he stands up to them, I will respect him more.

  2. Steve LaBonne says:

    Obama seems to be a genuine centrist and a very independent-minded guy in general. For us moderate Democrats, a very exiciting rising political star.

  3. I am a big fan of charter schools and I am very cautiously optimistic at Obama’s pre-election stance on the subject. Charter schools aren’t always perfect, but they possess something that the traditional government run school does not possess–the ability to reform. My kids go to a charter school and despite its excellent record, it continues to come under attack by the NEA.

    It will be interesting to see whether or not Obama can stand up to the NEA once he gets into office. My guess is that he will not, and will thus drop his support of charter schools. This would be a shame, of course, because Chicago needs a healthy dose of school reform, and it won’t get from its current NEA controlled administration.

  4. Here in Baton Rouge, LA (home of what may be the nation’s least effective public school system) not only are the schools closed today, but they were closed YESTERDAY as well. Why give them only one day off when you can give them two?

    I, too, remember election day at my elementary school, the voting machines set up in the library and all the people coming in to vote. I think it was a great opportunity to teach a lesson in civic responsibility.

  5. I remember the election days at my school when I was growing up, too.

    I think Joanne (and the others who have talked about it) are right: it makes voting seem grown-up and important to the kids. Or at least, it made it seem that way for me.

    Where I vote now, there are paper ballots where you complete an arrow with a black pen (optically read). I have to admit I miss the voting machines that were used when I was growing up – and that I first voted on when I lived in Ann Arbor as a college student – the ones with the myriad of little levers you clicked down, and then the big lever that you pulled to register your vote (which it did, with a most satisfying CHUNK!)

  6. We vote at our town hall, and I often volunteer as an election worker. If our town population were to grow to a size which required us to vote at the school, I would be in favor of closing the school for the election. The additional traffic would be too much for our tight parking lot to handle, especially during an election with a large turnout.


  1. BUFFALOg says:

    Take Your Kids To Vote Day

    In addition, each year the school would bring in a real voting machine on which we would vote in a mock election. Imagine how many fewer “Floridas” we might have if everyone were taught how to vote.