When Kids Rock the Vote: Tech Educates, Unifies

Now that the elections in the U.S. are over, I am inspired by the culmination of what was a tedious, arduous, sometimes aggravating process. I am inspired because in the end, my daughter, who is nine, became engaged, excited and encouraged about the process and the result.

In California, we had a number of important propositions on the ballot, and my daughter was actively consuming information – on TV, the web and with friends and relatives – to do her best to understand the issues and decide what she thought was right for our state and our nation.

Wonderfully, our local County Board of Elections sponsored a “Kids Vote” at the polling places. They provided kids with ballots and then announced the results of the Kids Vote on their web site. Katie spent all day yesterday waiting for the results.

When we went to the polling place, we brought one of her friends with her. As they poured over the ballot, I was amazed to hear my daughter explain each proposition to her friend. I had no idea how much my kid had picked up. She had spent time on the Internet learning and even the Weekly Reader had helped her think through the issues.

We have a rule in our house – you are entitled to your opinion and it can be different from others – but you have to do your own critical thinking to justify your position. My daughter took that advice to heart and used the tools we have – most of them technology-based – to make up her mind in the election.

And thanks to a shared medium – the television – we sat together on Tuesday night as history was made. As we watched people all over the world share in an event that we can only hope will lead us all positively into the future.

I write a lot about kids, technology and relationships and this election was proof that these things can come together to help us think, connect and share.