Broward Tutor

Social Studies/Civics

2012 Presidential Election by The Broward Tutor

One of the things that used to drive me crazy about my mom while growing up, was that I was required to accompany her wherever she went. She dragged me to rallies, political meet and greets, voter registration drives, and fundraisers for every charity under the sun. As I grew older, she would send me out on my own to get neighbors to sign petitions or give money to charity. Now that I look back on it, she was teaching me about
GETTING INVOLVED. Sorry for complaining, mom!

Thanks to my mother, I watch the democratic and republican conventions. I learn as much as I can about the candidates who might lead our country for the next four (or four more) years, and I especially enjoy the debates. I am an informed voter.

The 2012 presidential election is coming up quickly. There is still time for your whole family to get involved. Voting is a right, but it’s also a privilege. It wasn’t until 2005 that Saudi Arabians began holding local elections, but women still do not have the right to vote. In Brunei, no men OR women have had the right to vote since 1962, because it is governed by an absolute monarchy. The Peoples Republic of China, Iraq, Syria, Algeria, and many other countries are ruled by dictators.

As citizens of United States, we are lucky enough to be able to take part in the future of our democracy!

Chances are that by now, your child’s school has held Student Council elections. You can talk to them about the issues that concern them at school. What do the representatives and officeholders of their Student Council plan to accomplish? What are the traits they think make a good leader? This could lead to a discussion of the issues that concern them about our country and the world.

Together, you can compare and contrast the presidential candidates as you listen to televised speeches and debates. You will soon be receiving a sample ballot in the mail. Show your child what a ballot looks like, and discuss the choices you will be involved in making. On election night, you might allow your child to stay up late to watch the returns. On a U.S. map, your son or daughter can color in blue for democrat, or red for republican states as the returns come in. This might even lead to a bit of extra credit in school the next day. It’s certainly worth a try!

Other places to explore are:
h
ttp://www.timeforkids.com/minisite/election-2012  This is a fact and fun-filled site with bios of the presidential and vice presidential candidates, and fantastic features including an election site for kids, candidate interviews with kid reporters, and an electionary so they can learn election vocabulary.

Although they haven’t updated the following site since the ’08 election, this homepage has links to what a voting booth looks like, and you can click on ways the government affects you.  http://pbskids.org/democracy/

As you investigate these sites together, I guarantee you will learn a few things too.
It’s a great way for your family members to express their opinions on issues important to them.
So forget voter apathy, and embrace voter education!
Thanks again, Mom, for teaching me a great lesson.

Randi Gelfond
a.k.a.
The Broward Tutor

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