Eighteen is the legal voting age in Costa Rica, but kids here can still have their say in who they want as their leader for 2006- 2010. In an effort to teach young people the value of democracy and voting, Costa Rican minors can vote online or at special polling places on Election Day Feb. 5.
In an election sponsored by the Ombudsman’s Office and the National Commission for the Rescue of Values, children can vote at polling places throughout the country, including regional Ombudsman’s offices, the Children’s Museum and the Colegio Universitario of Puntarenas, Cartago and Alajuela. The National Children’s Hospital will also have a poll open for children interned in the medical center.
The only requirement for the vote is to be under age 18; no identification is necessary. Once registered, young voters – expected to number more than 10,000 – will receive special ballots similar to those distributed to their adult counterparts. Kids’ polling places will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and results are expected an hour after the polls close.
In addition, children can cast their vote at www.mivotocr.com, which provides information about each local and national candidate so that young voters can make the best decision based on their beliefs.
The goal of the online election is not only to teach youth, but also inspire them to show enthusiasm on Election Day so their parents are more eager to head to the polls Feb. 5.