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Written by:  Odile Fredericks
Date: May 2, 2012

Children can step into a polling booth for early voting this Saturday at the downtown Durham Public Library and then join in a celebration that features a voting-themed story time, crafts and snacks.

Sponsored by the family advocacy group NC MomsRising and Kids Voting Durham, a nonprofit with a mission to help children discover their power as citizens, the kids voting event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The polling booth will be in the main lobby of the library, located at 300 N. Roxboro St. Story time will kick off at 10:30 a.m. in the children's room.

Why take the kids to a Kids Voting event? First, it removes the mystery of exactly happens in the polling booth. Second, it shows them how easy it is to cast their ballot. Third, if they don't yet know that the seat for governor of North Carolina is up for grabs or what a constitutional amendment is, this event may open the discussion.

The 2008 presidential elections saw one of the highest  voter turnout rates in memory, with 64 percent of folks heading to polling stations, according to a Wall Street Journal political blog. In that election, the percentage of young voters increased, which was good news, but fewer than half of 18- to 24-year-olds who were registered said they went to the polls, and 42 percent said they weren't even registered, according to the WSJ.

Parents can affect voter apathy, especially where it comes to our children. When we vote, we send a subliminal message to them that we can change the world and that our action in the polling booth matters.


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