Every family collects a series of traditions, whether intentional or a grudging acceptance of the long memories of children that refuse to forget the joy of gingerbread house construction. For my family, October marks the start of pureed pumpkin season, scented with repeating batches of pumpkin muffins that only ends with the start of gingerbread month.
Some of my traditions carry forward from my own childhood, but many are ones we forge as a foursome, created around those things our family finds to be the most important.
My family has also included voting as a family tradition. We usually walk to the polling station, where my children watch me receive a ballot and place it in the box. My seven-year-old enjoys seeing our voting count as the ballot disappears into the box. My five-year-old likes the fire trucks. We all get our “I Voted” sticker, and then leave to enjoy our post-voting pizza dinner.
As a registered voter, I am responsible for participating in local, state, and federal elections. As a woman, I am responsible for showing my respect to the women that fought with all they had to earn this voting privilege. As a parent, I am responsible for teaching my children how meaningful an individual voice can be — and how to make that voice heard by voting.
Kids Voting Durham and NC MomsRising with Jack and Jill, LangoKids, Mocha Moms, and other family groups are joining forces to help make voting a family affair. We’ll kick off the first weekend of early voting with a special voting-related party with voting for kids, snacks, stories about voting, and democracy inspired activities and crafts at the Durham Main Library. Bring your wagons and strollers to decorate. Patriotic dress or costumes welcome!
Children and adults will make instruments, voting banners, and flags, then we will parade through downtown to early voting location at 201 N. Roxboro St. where parents can cast their vote. The event is nonpartisan.
Follow along on Twitter with #WeVote and share photos of your family voting! If you are unable to attend, we still hope to see pictures of your family voting traditions, new and old!
Here are the details:
When: 10 a.am. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 25
Where: Durham Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St., Durham with a parade to the Durham Board of Elections, 201 N. Roxboro St.
Questions? Contact Beth Messersmith, MomsRising, 919-323-6179 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Carolyn Kreuger, Kids Voting, 919-560-7321 or email@example.com
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 NC 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.
Have fun creating your own voting traditions!
Stephanie Lormand is a Raleigh mom of two and a member of MomsRising.org.