ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With the election less than 100 days away, one local agency wants to make sure kids are learning all about the voting process, even if they’re still home from school. School districts across New Mexico are faced with starting the new year online and with an election year serving as the perfect time to learn about civics, Bernalillo County is bringing those lessons to the web.
“You can find an iCivics group and that’s really a whole program of different types of things for kids to do,” said Linda Stover, Bernalillo County Clerk. “There’s several, several options there.”
From activity books about the county to interactive videos and games about U.S. government, the site has resources to keep kids engaged. There are even resources for parents and teachers to use.
“As a teacher, you can go on to this and actually build a course to teach in your classroom about civics,” said Stover. “This is a perfect thing for kids to do and it’s all ages. You’ve got different levels and different ages.”
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Stover says now is the time for kids to get an in-depth look at how local and national government works.
“Especially with an election as big as this one’s going to be, you can see all sides and it gives you an idea of how the process works,” said Stover. “How when you go into a polling location, you punch the button and you pick your candidate, how it all circles through and eventually, you elect someone.”
She says it’s even a good idea to get hands-on when teaching your kids about elections. This can be as simple as reading through the ballot or even bringing your child with you when you vote.
“If you’re a parent and you have a young child, I always took my son with me when I went to vote, and we talked about it. I never guided him one way or the other but he saw the process and now, as an adult, he takes his son in,” said Stover. “They talk about the issues, and what the bonds are, and how it would affect their taxes.”
She says there’s plenty of resources out there; you just have to look. For some, this could even inspire a future career in working in local government.
“For kiddos to get on and learn who their judges are in their area, who their county people are, when they go to school, who their school board members are, it’s all right here,” said Stover. “Spend just a little bit of time doing this and you’ll open up a brand new world, and who knows, you may have the next president in your kitchen.”
The full list of civics education resources is available on Bernalillo County’s website. There are sections for students, parents, and educators, as well as a section dedicated to New Mexico’s specific laws.