Hey, Mom and Dad, How Do I Vote? These PA Parents Are on a Mission to Get Their Kids to the Polls

Christopher, Maggie, and Elaine Poost. (Courtesy of Elaine Poost)

By Helene Cohen Bludman

October 30, 2020

These Pennsylvania families are going the extra mile for democracy.

More than 3 million Pennsylvania voters have applied for mail-in ballots—a third of all registered voters in the commonwealth.

However, because of a slew of lawsuits and stalled negotiations to amend state voting laws, ballots didn’t go out until late September or early October.

Some voters haven’t received their mail-in ballots yet and are afraid they never will.

Pennsylvania is widely regarded as the most crucial state in the race with its 20 electoral votes needed for victory. Because of this, voters in the Keystone State are not taking this election lightly. 

Members of the Pennsylvania Women for Biden/Harris Facebook group, an active group of almost 125,000 members, are buying plane tickets for their college-age children, and planning long road trips to make sure they or their loved ones can vote in the general election.

Hey, Mom and Dad, How Do I Vote? These PA Parents Are on a Mission to Get Their Kids to the Polls
Carol Parr, left, plans to drive more than 1,000 miles next week to vote. (Courtesy of Carol Parr)

Carol Parr lives in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County, but has been visiting her elderly mother in Indianapolis since Oct. 1. 

“On November 1 I’m driving 567 miles back to Pennsylvania to vote, then turning around and driving 567 miles back,” she said. “Ridin’ with Biden/Harris. Yee haw!”

“I’ll be 70 in December and I cannot even imagine not voting,” she said. 

Parr’s 95-year-old mother, incidentally, got her ballot, voted all blue, and returned it by mail. 

Many parents are reporting that their children, especially first-time voters, are imploring them to help.

Polling data and voter turnout suggest this election will be marked by the participation of young voters, according to a CNN report. Empowered and politicized after the March for Our Lives, the protest following the Parkland high school massacre, as well as Black Lives Matter and discontent with the President, 18- to 24-year-old voters could spike the biggest turnout of this demographic in history.

Hey, Mom and Dad, How Do I Vote? These PA Parents Are on a Mission to Get Their Kids to the Polls
Freddy Fischer is coming home from San Diego to vote in next week’s election. (Courtesy of Michelle Fischer)

Michelle Fischer’s son, Freddy, a political science major in San Diego, changed his plans for Thanksgiving, opting to come back to their Ridley, Delaware County, home to vote instead. 

“He has worked very hard the past few months to register new voters and go door-to-door in California to get people out to vote,” Michelle said.

Reached by phone, Freddy said, “This election to me is not so much about Roe v. Wade, but about defending healthcare, fixing systemic racism, corporate taxation, gun reform, and funding public education.”

Hey, Mom and Dad, How Do I Vote? These PA Parents Are on a Mission to Get Their Kids to the Polls
Ainsley Shin is flying home from college in Minnesota to vote. (Courtesy of Dana Murray Shin)

Dana Murray Shin wrote this post last Friday: “My daughter is at college and never received her mail-in ballot. My husband is flying her home from Minnesota to vote.”

Almost 1,000 comments later, Dana’s husband, Won, has been virtually high-fived, called Father of the Year, and received clapping and heart emojis.

Dana’s daughter, Ainsley, applied for a mail-in ballot in early September, and it never arrived. According to Dana, the county election board advised their daughter to not reapply, since that would be considered a duplicate request.

Acknowledging that not every family has the wherewithal and budget to pay for a flight, Dana is grateful that her daughter will come home to Newtown Square, Delaware County, to vote. It will be a quick trip.

“She’ll come home over the weekend and fly back to Minnesota Election Day evening. This president has made our daughter feel marginalized,” Dana said. “Our daughter is multiracial, my husband is a quadriplegic, and my son has special needs. This president has made her feel like our family is not fully accepted.”  

Elaine Bowers Poost, of Wyalusing, Bradford County, is readying herself for a 20-hour round trip to collect two of her six children, who were worried because their mail-in ballots had not arrived. They each applied for their ballots in September.

Picking up on their distress, “I told them I would come and get whoever I needed to get so that they could cast their votes,” she said. “It seemed too unfair to have watched their energy and seriousness about the country to let the system fail them.”

Elaine’s son, Will, is in New York City, and her daughter, Maggie, goes to Princeton University.

“We are voting because our children and their potential children need their country back,” she said. “That is why I am going to drive 20 hours to get my children back home, take them to the polls and take them back.”

Debbie J., from Abington, Montgomery County, was concerned. Almost a month had gone by and her son Georgie, a college freshman, had not received his mail-in ballot.

“My husband and I were worried, knowing how important it was for Georgie’s vote to be counted. When I spoke with him, he said, ‘Mom, PLEASE come get me! I can’t miss this election.’”

Although the ballot finally arrived, the couple will drive five hours to get their son, bring him home to vote, then drive back the next day. “Those 20 hours of driving are worth it for his Biden/Harris vote,” she said. “And we get a couple of days with him, too. It’s a win win!”

Hey, Mom and Dad, How Do I Vote? These PA Parents Are on a Mission to Get Their Kids to the Polls
The Shin Family, from left: Dana, Mitchell, Won, Suncha and Ainsley,


CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


Local News

Related Stories
Share This