Our Russian-American Kids Voted
So proud of our three oldest children, two of whom voted for the first time in this year’s early elections. The discussions regarding candidates and showing the kids how to research candidates’ statements and records bordered on the hysterical at times, but we got through it. If ever there was a case for changing the voting age back to 21….
You know that we decided to vote early to avoid the crowds on Election Day next week. I went with our oldest son who was employed during the day and needed to pop in after work. The two of us cast our ballots as I described yesterday. Then today, I went with Benedetto and the other two children who were voting. Our fourth child came along for the ride, as she was only 16 years old.
We walked through the picturesque DC neighborhood toward the polling place. With a waiting time of ZERO MINUTES (do you believe it???), they strolled in and were ushered straight to the intake tables. No one could understand our last name (can you say “Bartologimignano” with a Russian accent?), so they presented their IDs.
Benedetto, Pasha (almost 20) and Mashenka (18) were each led to the electronic polling tablets, similar to TV-screen-on-a-stand. Within no time, all of them were finished with the seven items for consideration in our municipality. They printed the electronic cards, presented them to be “eaten” by another intake machine, received their “I Voted Early” sticker, and joined Sashenka (16) and me at the folding chairs seating area— an unheard-of luxury at our normal polling station.
I had been chatting with one of the election workers and pointed out our two first-time voters. When they rejoined us with wide smiles on their faces, he called out to everyone in the rec center multi-purpose room, about 50 people spread between workers and voters at this point.
“Two first-time voters here! Let’s hear it for them – congratulations!!!” and everyone started to applaud, some giving them a standing ovation.
I snapped a picture of them outside, grinning broadly, cameras having been forbidden inside. We then took them for a surprise “Slush-Puppy” drink at a neighborhood market we had frequented when they were much younger and had just arrived home from Mother Russia. The past and the present combined seamlessly in one day.
And now that I think about it, I wonder if they have any Russian voting rights as dual citizens? Anybody know?
—————Tags: adopted Russian-American teens vote, adoptive families blog, can adopted Russian-Americans vote in Russia?, DC moms blog, I Voted Early, standing ovation for first-time voters, US Elections 2016, US elections early voting