What You (and Your Kids) Should Know about Tuesday's Primary Election in Pennsylvania

If you have kids, finding time to slip out to vote can be a hassle, but doing so sets a great example for the next generation of voters.

In Pennsylvania, you can even take a child with you into the voting booth. (We have seen it reported that only one child can go with you, but don't know how strictly that is enforced.)

On Tuesday, Pennsylvanians will decide who they want to run in November for Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senate and U.S. House as well as for the state Senate and House. It's a pretty safe bet, though, that there won't be long lines, so you can probably breeze in and out, especially if you avoid the pre-work and post-dinner busy periods.

Even if the tikes don't go with you, make it a point to tell them that you voted and explain what the process is all about. You don't have to tell them how you voted, in fact that can be part of the lesson about the importance of a secret ballot.

If you don't follow state and local politics too closely, you may not know that the maps outlining Congressional Districts in Pennsylvania changed this year, which means your representative in Congress might be changing. Fret not, this site, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, makes it easy to pop in your address and get just the races where you live.

Since this is a primary, you are voting on which candidates the parties will put up for office in November. In Pennsylvania, you have to be registered to vote as a Democrat or Republican to vote in that party's primary. Here is some other good, basic information on voting in Pennsylvania, if you are new to it or haven't done it in awhile.

If it turns out your kids really take an interest in the electoral process, there's a great program called Kids Voting that teams up with schools to get students excited about voting. There are chapters in Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties. Check them out here.

Of course kids always have questions, so if your civics skills are a bit rusty, here's a quick primer on how things work.

Now get out there and vote, vote, vote. (Okay, just once, but you get the idea.)