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2018 Midterm Elections

This Little Girl Hilariously Misunderstood What Her Parents Were Doing When They Went To Vote In The Midterms

“It’s all down to boater turnout.”

Posted on November 6, 2018, at 7:02 p.m. ET

It’s Election Day and people everywhere are getting their democracy on.

Kerem Yucel / AFP / Getty Images

I mean, if you don’t post a selfie with your voter sticker, do you even exist?

instagram.com

(Full disclosure: I did not post a sticker selfie. I might not exist.)

So, naturally, when area dad McKay Coppins heard his daughter Ellie was upset this morning, he thought it was because she didn’t get to go vote with him.

McKay Coppins

“We’ve been trying to teach her — to instill good civic attitudes and the importance of being engaged in politics,” said Coppins, who used to report for this very internet news website.

Despite the civic lessons, Coppins and his wife Annie decided it would be easier to go to the polls alone.

So, they had a neighbor come watch their kids while they snuck out to cast their ballots.

When Ellie, who is 5, found out that her mom and dad had gone to her school — which is where their polling station is located — without her, she was upset.

“Ellie is sobbing that we didn’t take her,” Annie told Coppins, as he was getting ready to head to work. She asked if Coppins would take Ellie back to the school to show her everything, and Coppins jumped at the opportunity to share the experience with his daughter.

“I thought it was going to be such a great opportunity to educate,” he said. “I was feeling really — I had my ‘just voted’ sticker — I was feeling very patriotic and excited about participating in the democratic process, and I thought I can instill this in her.”

So Coppins and Ellie jumped in the car and headed back to the school, where he told her all about the wonders of democracy.

McKay Coppins

“I saw computers and papers,” said Ellie, recounting what her dad told her about the process. “You write down who you want to vote, then you put them in the computers, then it scans it, then they count all the votes at the end of the day.”

“I gave her this whole little speech about how great democracy is,” Coppins said. “That’s what makes this a great country, that we can vote for our leaders, and they’re beholden to us.”

Coppins thought he had gotten “major dad points” for the civics lesson. However, the visit wasn’t quite what Ellie had imagined, as Coppins explained in a now-viral tweet.

My wife and I got back from voting and found our 5yo in tears that she didn't get to come. So I took her to the polling place and gave her a little patriotic talk about America and democracy. On the way back she told me she thought mom had said we went "boating."

“She said ‘I thought there was going to be a boat,’” Coppins recalled. “I thought mom said that you went boating.”

“I think I got it was kind of anticlimactic because we stayed on land the whole time,” said Coppins.

Of course, Twitter loved the pun.

@mckaycoppins It’s all down to boater turnout!

So many puns!

@mckaycoppins @jaketapper This story gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “wave election.”

They pointed out that boating had, in fact, played a key role in the founding of our country.

@mckaycoppins Don’t forget the boaters that made us all voters.

Some people said their kids had thought they were “boating” too.

@mckaycoppins My 3-year-old was also very confused when we took him to the polling place and he couldn't find a boat anywhere!

@mckaycoppins My four year old was PISSED after we voted and walked out and there was no water. "Bad bad Mommy! Bad bad boating!"

And, of course, they loved Ellie.

But don't worry, Ellie also appreciated the voting lesson.

“It’s cool, and I want people to count my vote too,” she said.

She said she learned that “you can only vote when you’re a certain age.”

But, when asked if she would vote once she’s 18 she said, “Yeah, if they don’t go again without me.”

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