This idea set highlights the processes involved in American elections.
6 - 9
Civics, English Language Arts, Geography, Social Studies
Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Elections are an important part of civic life in a democratic republic. The United States is an example of this system of government. Use this set of classroom ideas to educate students about the rights and responsibilities of U.S. voters and to inspire them to see themselves, already, as active participants in the civic life of their nation.
A ballot initiative is a proposed law written by citizens, which can be placed on the ballot to be accepted or rejected by voters. Have students use this interactive map of ballot measure results from the 2016 election. Ask students to explore the map and jot down at least 10 ballot initiatives from 10 different states. Ask: What ballot initiatives appeared during the 2016 election? Which passed? Are there any measures students would have supported or rejected had they been able to vote in that election themselves? Explain that the people who created these initiatives had to go through a specific process to get them on the ballot, and that this process differs by state. Assign each student one of the 20-something states that allow for ballot initiatives; have students research and report back to the class on their states’ processes. As a class, create a list of similarities and build a list of generalized steps for getting an initiative on a ballot.
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May 13, 2022
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