6 Ways to Encourage Your Grandchildren to Vote

polling place vote sign

The youth voter turnout is at an all-time low. In 2014, there were 49 million people aged 18-29 in the United States. Yet, U.S. Census data showed that only 19.9% of this demographic voted. That means only 1 out 5 eligible youth voters cast a ballot that year.

Seniors, the nation’s most active voters, should start encouraging their grandchildren to vote. Since the 18-29 age range is such a large demographic, the youth vote can truly shape elections. Seniors have many years of voting experience. This valuable experience should be used to help teach youth voters how to get out and vote. There are many ways that grandparents can get their grandkids involved in the voting process:

Help Your Grandchild Register

republican register woman

The registration process can be confusing and especially difficult for a young person who has just become eligible to vote. Since they have never experienced the voting process before, offer them your help.

Show your grandchild how easy it is to register to vote. Registering can be done in a variety of ways these days. You can call your local registration office, fill out a form online, send a form from the post office in the mail, or register in person. Registering in person can be done at the local DMV or state and county public assistance offices.

Make sure your grandchildren are aware of the registration deadlines for their state. You don’t want them to miss their opportunity to vote.

Have a Conversation About Voter Issues

american flag sunset

It’s time to sit down and talk with your grandchildren about the issues that impact the nation. The youth are more likely to vote when they are aware of issues that may affect them.

Take out the voter guide that was mailed to your home and go through each candidate and proposition. If they have any questions about the issues, this is a good time to explain it to them. This conversation can lead to healthy debates and even bonding with your grandchild. You may both gain perspectives you had never considered otherwise.

Take Your Grandchild to a Political Rally

political rally

Political rallies are a great way to get your grandchild involved in politics. Rallies are high energy events where everyone is excited to listen to a candidate they are passionate about. Attending a rally can invoke patriotism and nationalism in a young voter.

Take your grandchild to a rally and listen to the candidate speak in person. This is a great way for your young voter to figure out who they want to support. They will hear about the candidate’s policies without the media’s filter.

Watch Debates with Your Grandchild

Trump and Clinton debate

Not only are political debates an important part of history, they are one of the best ways to learn about the candidates. It may be hard for youth to vote when they are not sure of their political affiliations. Your grandchild can easily compare the two candidates when they are going head-to-head.

The debates will reveal the candidates’ personalities and platforms. Take this opportunity to discuss important values with your grandchild. The debates can be a fantastic learning opportunity. Bonus: Debates are a great form of entertainment when a candidate says or does something ridiculous. 

Drive Your Grandchild to the Polling Station

polling station

Many youth voters don’t end up voting because they either forget to or do not find time to go the polling station. Invite your grandchild to visit the polling station with you so this doesn’t happen. Get lunch and make a day of it together.

If your grandchildren are busy and cannot make it to the polls, encourage them to enroll in mail-in voting. This way, they can still vote without taking time out of their schedule. Be sure to remind them that mail-in votes cannot be sent any later than Election Day, November 8. 

Keep Reminding Your Grandchild to Get Out and Vote

register to vote

Above all, it is important to remind your grandchild to vote. Young voters are preoccupied with many things in their life. University and new careers can take up most of a young adult's time. They have so many things on their mind, Election Day may come and go before they realize they forgot to vote. If you bother them enough, they will listen.

Young people are most likely to vote when they are encouraged by a person they care about and respect. Who is a better candidate for this position than a grandparent? Once you get your grandchild involved, they will likely continue voting for the rest of their lives.

The Importance of Voting

vote feet

Voting is an important right in our society. Young adults may not realize this now, but their vote matters.

Every American citizen’s voice should be heard during an election. Every candidate or proposition voted for will affect the people. The future of our society is shaped by elections and should not be decided by a small percentage of the people. This is why it is imperative that seniors help their grandchildren vote.

Be the one who helps raise a new generation of educated citizens who participate in this civic duty.