Eastern Suburbs

Parents teach kids importance of voting in DeWitt

By Kathryn Shafsky, MNO 617.2

Published on November 8, 2016

Caitlin Seamans stands with her two children outside Tecumseh Elementary School after voting in this year's presidential election. (c) 2016 Katie Shafsky

DEWITT, N.Y. (Democracy in Action) — As teachers made their way into Tecumseh Elementary School this morning, Caitlin Seamans was juggling an infant in one arm and an excited 2-year-old son on the other.

She brought them along to the polls this morning because she’s a stay-at-home mom but said that her son understands that something important is happening.

“It’s good to bring them,” Seamans said. “I don’t know if he knows what it means, but he’s been saying ‘vote’ all morning.”

Kara Williams and her husband brought their two children, Caleb and Sophia, with them to vote before dropping them at school. Williams said that her children have been exposed to a lot of the news surrounding this presidential election, and she wanted them to know what it means to participate.

“They’re asking a lot of questions whether it counts in the big scheme of things,” Williams said. “But I think they see by my role modeling that it’s important to show up and to participate, even when you’re one tiny piece of a giant picture.”

Her son, Caleb, said he wanted to come with his parents to see what it would look like to vote and thought voting for president was important so people can decide “if it’s a good one or not.” Caleb and Sophia got to go in the voting booth with their parents, and Sophia said that although she went once when she was 3, it was exciting to watch.

Longtime DeWitt resident Barbara Klim said that when her children were young, she brought them to Tecumseh Elementary School every year to vote in order to teach them the importance of getting involved in the democratic process.

“It’s essential,” Klim said. “It’s the most important right we have.”

At Jamesville-DeWitt High School, Laura Lautz explained the election process to her 7-year-old twins — who were curious about why a president could serve only two terms — as they walked into the polling area. This is the second time Lautz has brought her children along, and she said she hopes it gets them into the habit of voting.

“When they grow up and have the opportunity to vote,” Lautz said, “they’ll take advantage of it and take it seriously.”