When it comes to encouraging younger people to hit the polls for Election Day, a campaign created in 1990 called Rock the Vote helped boost numbers for those ages 18 and up.

This mom goes one better. My kids have rocked the vote with me since infancy.

I vividly recall carrying my son in his infant seat to the polling place on March 3, 2009, for a special election. He was a mere 6 days old as his dad and I cast ballots for a 29th District Senatorial seat via voting machines. When my daughter accompanied us the first two years or so, she stood behind the curtained cubicle as I voted using paper and pencil ballots.

The tradition to go to the polls as a family continues. On Tuesday (Nov. 5, 2019), my daughter and son went with me as I cast my vote for local candidates and answered questions for state judge retentions and one ballot question. I reminded my daughter that she can exercise her civic duty and vote in the Primary and General elections in less than two years. Of course, I ask, where did that time go? …

As parents and American citizens, it’s important to emphasize the right and privilege we possess to vote for our local, state and national leaders. Sure, politics can frustrate people and, unfortunately, divide families, friendships and communities, but in the end, we have a voice. Many countries do not.

My children had some familiarity with the candidates on the local ballot. Some are parents of friends and fellow students in our school district. The kiddos didn’t agree with all of my choices, and the option to select a straight party ticket vote brought a question from my son. I explained choosing a straight party ticket means that a person votes for all candidates in that particular political party. He found that interesting, and I found it impressive that he wanted to know what it meant.

Of course, we left the polling place with our badges of honor — stickers declaring “I voted” — and celebrated Election Day 2019 with pizza and wings at a local eatery. We’ll peruse the newspaper together later today to see the results, maybe generating a bit more conversation about things to come for our school district, borough and county.

Look ahead to next year’s election. It will no doubt bring conversations and debates for young and old.