When you've got small children at home, they pretty much go everywhere with you. Running to Target or the grocery store with the kids is a daily occurrence for many mothers, and there's one important errand coming up on the calendar that they can tag along for too.
Yes, mama, you can bring your kids to vote on November 6 ( and it might even be a great lesson for your little one).
Here are five things mamas need to know about bringing the kids along on election day:
1. It's legal
In all 50 states in America (and in D.C.) parents are allowed to bring kids to the polls. This a huge relief to parents who would otherwise need to get childcare in order to vote. If someone at the polling place tells you that you can't vote because you've got a baby with you, they're wrong.
2. But some states limit the number of kids a voter can bring
Many states do not put a limit on how many children a mama can bring with her (some moms report squeezing three or four kids into the booth) while other states (including Pennsylvania and Maryland) limit the number of children a parent can bring to just one or two.
State rules vary, so if you're planning on bringing multiple children with you on election day, check out your local rules before you go.
If your state max is two kids, but you've got three, you might consider a voting date with another mama. That way you can watch each other's kiddos while placing your votes (and get coffee afterward).
3. Lines can be long, so go before the rush
Generally speaking, the peak voting times are in the before and after work periods and the lunch hour. Stay-at-home parents have the advantage of being able to avoid these peak times, but even if you go at 10 o'clock the line may be long.
If you're bringing the kids along, bring some snacks or toys to make the line a bit more fun. Once you're in, remind the kiddos that they have to be on their best behavior. Most states reserve the right to evict disruptive children from the polling place.
4. No selfies in the booth
It's tempting to snap a pic of your kiddo participating in the political process, but best not to do it in the actual voting booth, as that's illegal in many states. It's cool to take photos before voting though, or after, when you (and your babies) can sport those "I voted" stickers.
5. The age limit varies by state
If your children are teens, you probably won't be trying to squeezing three of them in the booth with you, but one may want to tag along to see the political process in action. That's totally cool, too, but the age limit varies by state.
In some areas, kids up to 17 can vote with mom or dad, but in others, the age limit is 15. Again, check the rules in your state before heading to the polls with your kids.
Parents should be able to show their children how the political process works, and not having childcare should not prevent parents from voting. The midterms matter and every mama's vote is important.