Parents Brought Children Along To Polls After Work

By Zhiyan Zhong, BDJ 464.03

Published on November 8, 2016

The Board of Elections encourages children to come to the polling sites with their parents, Jannette Richardson said. (c) 2016 Zhiyan Zhong

JORDAN, N.Y. (Democracy in Action) — Grown-ups were not the only ones at the polls on Election Day. Many children also followed their parents to polling sites and helped them exercise the right to vote.

More than 30 parents brought their children along to the polling site at Jordan-Elbridge Community Center in the evening after they got out of work.

Sarah Easterly, mom of a three-year-old and a five-year-old, said she brought her children with her because she wants them to learn about voting early.

“They model what they see,” Easterly said. “If they see their parents voting, they will probably be interested in it and follow suit in the future.”

Easterly went back home to take her daughters to the voting site after work.

Annette Gustafson, who also brought her child, said her eight-year-old son has been immersed in the whole voting process since he was little.

“He really has his own mind about who he wants to vote for based on a lot of information that he gets,” Gustafson said.

Jannette Richardson, a voting system specialist at Jordan-Elbridge Community Center, said her favorite voting story is seeing parents bringing children in with them.

“They are the voters of tomorrow,” Richardson said. “So we would like to make a big deal of it when the kids are here.”

Kids are allowed to go to the voting machine with their parents and the staff will still count their votes, Richardson said.

Emily Bartolotta said her daughter Nina watching her vote for potentially the first female president made this year's election special. (c) 2016 Zhiyan Zhong