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Getting Out The Vote: Introducing Teens to the Political Process

We Americans are typically very proud of our democratic heritage and our right to vote for our leaders.  However, we are often not inclined to take advantage of that freedom by actually voting.  Sadly, it is often the newest voters in our society that are the least likely to vote.  Hopefully we can all work together to help our teens look forward to choosing those who govern us.  Or, even better, becoming one of them.

The first way in which you can encourage you teens to be involved in the political process is to discuss politics around you home.  Feel free to share your opinions with them but take time to listen to theirs, also.  Challenge them to investigate what they might hear from others by looking into the facts.  Help them see that making informed choices today will influence the country in which they will live tomorrow.

Another way to make politics come alive for teens is to volunteer for a candidate as a family.  Although teens can't vote, they can still do a lot to get someone elected by making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, etc.  This will give them an insider's view of the process and may even inspire them to pursue a life of public service themselves.

Of course, make sure that you vote in every election, and take your teen with you when you vote.  Depending on the rules in your precinct, you may even be able to take your teen with you into the polling booth.  At the very least, let your teen see that, in your family, voting is a priority.

Finally, make registering to vote at 18 a given in your family.  Let your teen know that part of his rite of passage into adulthood is signing up to vote.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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