Tuesday, the hall was empty when I voted. Early projections suggested only 20 percent of registered voters would get out in Pittsburgh.
For nearly every election, I have brought my kids with me to vote. Most of the time, it is out of necessity, but overall I bring them to see what happens. I want them to appreciate democracy and our right to vote. At a young age, my son just held my hand as my daughter looked on. As they got older, they asked questions. In the last presidential election, we all put our fingers on the button to cast our vote for president. It was a great moment -- one I would hope they will remember when they are 18 and can vote alone.
It was, therefore, more than a little irritating Tuesday when election monitors panicked that I had my children with me. Only one was allowed with me and the other must stand "at a distance" because "they might interfere with my results," they told me. Setting aside the fact that is a parenting issue rather than a monitor's issue, I suggested I was capable of correcting any interference before I cast my ballot. It was then noted that they might "make other voters uncomfortable." Perhaps valid, but the hall was empty.
So, my kids stood back and quickly became bored because they were now watching from a distance. I cast my ballot, but showing the future generation the importance of voting took a hit.