I love the idea of having family traditions. With my toddler son, I am still working on what our family traditions will look like, but I know of one I hope to make stick – voting is a family affair. He has already been with me twice as I voted (three times if you count in utero), and we have a tradition of taking a silly picture of him with the “I voted!” sticker stuck on his nose, forehead, cheek, shirt, or anywhere he will keep it on long enough to snap a picture.
As parents, our schedules can be so chaotic that getting to the polls can seem like a daunting task. That’s why I am so thankful for the option to vote early in North Carolina. Early voting gives parents the option to vote before Election Day, avoiding long lines and other things that can come up out of nowhere and keep us from voting (rain, fussy children, sickness). Early voting offers parents times on the weekends as well, which makes for a great opportunity to make voting a family outing.
Maybe your family has a voting tradition but, if not, it’s never too late to start a new tradition! Early voting is open across North Carolina from Oct. 17 to Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 5.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started with your own tradition:
If you live in Durham: During this year’s early voting in Durham, MomsRising and Kids Voting Durham will be throwing a party and parade for local families at the Durham Main Library to celebrate before we head to the polls. A special voting-related story will be shared and the kids will also get a chance to vote! A snack will be provided.
Before we parade to the voting location, children will have a chance to make their own instruments, voting banners, and flags, and decorate their wagons or strollers. Then we will parade through downtown to the early voting location at 706 W. Corporation St. where parents registered in Durham can cast their vote. The event is nonpartisan.
When: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26, with the rally and parade kicking off at 11:30.
Where: Durham Main Library Auditorium, 300 N. Roxboro St, ending at the downtown early voting location at 706 W. Corporation St, Durham (Durham Board of Elections).
Questions? Contact Beth Messersmith at 919-323-6179 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Not in Durham? No problem!
NC MomsRising has also pulled together some resources to help answer your voting questions:
• If you aren’t sure of your voter information, you can look it up on the North Carolina Board of Elections website.
• You can also visit the N.C. Election Connection, sponsored by Democracy North Carolina, to get all your voting questions answered.
• And to learn more about the candidates on the ballot you can find a nonpartisan voter guide here.
Like so many thing in life, kids will do what they see their parents do. Let’s take our kids to vote and show them it’s something worth celebrating!
Melea Rose-Waters is a Raleigh mom of one and a member of MomsRising.org. MomsRising members write for Go Ask Mom monthly.