Column: Kids Voting program is good practice for the real thing

BY Katie Quinn – Guest Columnist

On Election Day, you may have seen something happening at the polls – something I think is really important for all of us to take notice. There were over 2,000 kids voting through Kids Voting Edina.

My name is Katie Quinn, I’m a senior at Edina High School and I am happy to have served on the Steering Committee for this important program.

Kids Voting is a national nonpartisan program that teaches kids, like the students you may have seen at the poll, the importance of voting in our country.

Their teachers were busy the weeks before the election with lessons about decision making, election issues and understanding the voting process.

Then they went to the poll with their parent or caregiver and cast their vote on their own Kids Voting Edina ballot.

Due to the fact that I’m only 17 years old and missed the voting age by several months, I was unable to vote on this year’s election. Kids Voting Edina is a fun way to capture the voice of the students and to see how the election would result if it was in the hands of the youth.

As I became more involved in the program I realized I was in the same boat with other students – I had no idea how to vote! Voting is one of those things I assumed I’d know how to do when I turn 18 so it was helpful to get a little voting practice through Kids Voting Edina before I make my way to the real election polls.

Kids Voting Edina is important for the kids as well because we generated some excitement about voting for these young people. When I was counting up the ballots on election night, two young girls came up to me and started talking to me about the presidential candidates. As the two girls were debating one another, I could hear a political spark in their voices. This made me even more excited for when I get to cast my vote in the real election.

Kids Voting Edina is a fantastic program that is creating youth passion for the democracy we live in, in young students’ hearts and minds. I am proud to say I was a part of this program and can’t wait to see who Edina students vote for next election.