[Image via meetup]

North Dakota’s Secretary of State is looking past all the controversy on voting by mail and finding a surprising bright side: the opportunity for kids to learn more about the election process. KXNet has more:

Secretary of State Al Jaeger says greater access to mail-in ballots means a higher turnout for the June election.

Another perk of voting by mail: the ability to research candidates before you mark your ballot.

Jaeger said this year’s unconventional election is also an opportunity to teach your kids how an election works.

“The ballot coming home, the parent showing their children in terms of, ‘OK, this is what I’ve done to get the ballot, and this is how we vote.’ And show them how the voting process works and how the ballot is returned,” Jaeger said.

The deadline to have your ballot application turned in is this Thursday, May 28.

The latest you can have the ballot itself postmarked is Monday, June 8.

Jaeger’s observation is simple but powerful: mail ballots are a fantastic chance for parents to educate their kids about the voting process while staying home during the pandemic. I would add that it’s also a great time for parents not only to check their voter registration but explain how the registration process works. [This advice, of course, does not apply in North Dakota, which has no voter registration.] It’s also a good time to demonstrate how to stamp and mail a letter, which is not an everyday skill for young people today!

There’s so much not to like in the current fractious and frantic environment surrounding vote-by-mail; kudos to SoS Jaeger for finding a “teachable moment” about elections that’s good for kids and the community alike. Stay tuned …