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News in Youth Services

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Presidental Election

With the President Election about a week away, it is something children may notice, either through campaign signs on neighborhood lawns or in front of schools, television commercials, news coverage or activities at school.  Children may start to ask questions about the process.  Below are some questions they may ask and how you can respond to them.

What is voting?
A way to explain voting is that it's a way for a group to make a decision.  Many times at school, students cast votes for electing classmates to student council.  In lower grades, students may vote on a favorite book, such as in the Monarch or Bluestem nominees.

Who can vote?
People who can vote must be 18 years old and a citizen of the United States.  You must register to vote.

Why can't kids vote?
 Explain to kids that in order for them to vote in this country, they need to learn more about  how our country was formed and the democratic system our government follows.  Remind kids that they still have many opportunities to vote in school, with their families or  their sport teams.

Why should people vote?
It's important for people's voices to be heard.  The sad truth is that only a small number of citizen's enact their right to vote so many elections are determined by small margins.

Can I become president?
Such a great question!  Tell your future world leader that, according the the U.S. Constitution, a person must met these three requirements to become president.

1.  be a citizen who was born in the United State
2.  have lived in the United States for fourteen years
3.  be at least 35 years old

What does the President do?

Many children may understand that the President leads the nation, but you may also explain that the
President also serves as the head of the military, deals with the leaders of other nations and selects people to other important government jobs such as the Supreme Court justices.  This may be a good time to introduce children to the three branches of government and how they also have to work together with the President to lead the country.

Be a great example to children and get out to vote. You'll see many people voting here at the library on November 8th having their voice heard.

PBS Kids Reference
Picture Books on Voting
Presidents and the Executive Branch


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