Family Voting Party and Parade March 5 Offers Kids Fun
Courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/Shutterstock
I have to admit – I haven’t always been the best voter. There have been times when I haven’t showed up during every municipal election since I registered to vote. There was a presidential election the year before I turned 18, and I remember feeling so mad that I couldn’t vote. Yet, there have been times that I haven’t used my voice.
I’m pretty disappointed in myself for that.
I am not the only one who has missed opportunities to vote. In 2014, only 44 percent of registered voters in North Carolina voted in the midterm election (which was also a record turnout). Not even half of all registered voters in our state actually voted and it was a record turnout.
But, the good news is that elections happen regularly, and we have an opportunity to start a new tradition with our family when it is time to cast our votes. It’s almost like a new year's resolution, but you only have to show up for it once or twice every couple of years. Sounds easy enough! Challenge accepted!
It has been important to me to start a family tradition of voting since my son was born. He has been with me every single time I have voted (the stickers are a big motivator for him). He’s watching me and learning, even at a young age, and I want him to grow up seeing that voting is just something his family does.
Melea Rose-Waters and son get their "I voted" sticker! Courtesy of Melea Rose-Waters
One way that we make voting fun and something to celebrate in our family is by attending the early voting party and parade. He has a great time coloring, taking pictures in the photo booth, listening to a story during the library story time, and marching in a parade (led by a marching band!) to the polls. It’s a great time for our family and we hope you’ll join us there for the party this year! Here are the details:
What: Kids Voting Durham, MomsRising.org, You Can Vote, Durham Association of Educators, Lango Kids RTP, and other family groups are joining forces to help make voting a super family affair. We’ll kick off the first weekend of early voting with a special voting-related party with voting for kids, snacks, a special library story time, and democracy-inspired activities and crafts at the Durham Main Library. Bring your wagons and strollers to decorate. Patriotic dress or costumes are welcome!
The party starts at 10 a.m. when children and adults will take pictures in a photo booth, make instruments and enjoy other crafts/activities. At 11:15 a.m., the marching band will lead the way to parade through downtown Durham to the early voting location at 201 N. Roxboro St., where parents can cast their vote. First-time voters will lead the way in the parade to celebrate their first time voting. The event is nonpartisan.
The library story time and event will be in both English and Spanish.
Follow along on Twitter with #NCVotes 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!
Like so many things 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!
When: Saturday, March 5, 10 a.m.-noon
Where: Durham Main Library Auditorium, 300 N. Roxboro St, ending at the downtown early voting location at 201 N. Roxboro St., Durham (Durham Board of Elections).
Questions? Contact Beth Messersmith, MomsRising, at 919-323-6179 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Melea is a Wake Forest mother of one and is a member of MomsRising.