One of my goals with Teen Talk Tuesday is to raise a generation that feels comfortable talking about real issues, who isn’t afraid to hear what the other side has to say, and is willing to speak their mind in a respectful way. I think this type of dialogue starts at home, so I hope these ideas and questions spur something in your own mind and in your own family. And just a note, my 7 year old participates in these conversations too! We have to break it down a little for him, but it fun to hear his thoughts.

With today being Election Day (Did you vote yet??) I thought it would be the perfect night to discuss a few voting laws. What I love about these discussions is that you are not trying to indoctrinate your kids with your own political beliefs but give them a chance to cultivate and talk about their own. You don’t have to know all the answers, and you can pause the conversation to look things up or get more info, or you can just listen to what they have to say. I am pretty sure they will surprise you! Here is your Teen Talk Tuesday:

In order to vote in the U.S. you must be a U.S. citizen, be 18 years or older, and meet your state’s residency requirements, but some states have done some interesting things.

  • Multiple states have cleaned out their voter registers, so if you have not voted in the last two election cycles, you may not be able to vote this year. Is this fair or unfair? Why? 
  • In North Dakota a voter law says that you must have a street address not a PO Box to vote. This means many Native Americans, rural residents or others without a street address might not be able to vote because they don’t have the right ID. Should we require a street address to vote? Why would a state think that is necessary?
  • Those incarcerated cannot vote. Should those in prison be able to vote, why or why not?
  • Some polling places have been moved to locations with limited access to public transportation. Is this a problem? For whom? Why or why not?
  • There is only about a 40% turnout on election day of eligible voters during midterms. Why do you think some people don’t vote? Should everyone vote? Why or why not?  
  • How could we make it easier to vote? Should Election Day be a National Holiday? Why or Why not?

In the comments, I would love to know if you have voted yet, and what your feelings are about any or all of these issues. Let’s keep it civil and respectful…starting smart, engaged discussion right here!