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How to Be a Good Citizen Even if You Can’t Vote

illustration for how to be a good citizen in an election year even if you can't vote

With upcoming debates and an election in November, you’ll probably see and hear more and more political talk from adults, friends, social media and TV.

In Scouting, we don’t endorse specific candidates or parties; we promote good citizenship. Good citizenship includes defending the rights of others, being informed and voting. Unless you’ll be 18 years old by Election Day, you won’t be able to vote in this election. So how can you be a good citizen and fulfill your responsibilities as an American during this patriotic time?

In the 1950s, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorers launched a campaign, hanging Liberty Bell-shaped doorknob hangers, adding homemade “Vote” signs to their bicycles and offering to babysit neighbors’ children so parents could head to the polls.

You can do the same by reminding others about their right to vote. You can hold a fun mock election, complete with debates, at your unit meeting. You can fly the American flag. You can study the U.S. Constitution or visit your city hall or state legislature. You can even write a public official a letter or email, voicing your opinion on an issue.

There is a lot you can do to be a good citizen — not just during an election year, but all the time.

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