2014 gives newspapers and schools opportunities to explore the essential question in a democracy, WHY DOES EVERY VOTE MATTER?
You’ll find lesson plans on leadership, historic newspapers and other sources about elections on this voting website: http://allthingsvoting.org/lesson-plans/
Read more of this report for updates to 2012 information.
The American Bar Association chose “Why Every Vote Matters” as its Law Day theme for 2014. ABA produced a downloadable PSA for newspapers and posted it under the “Resources and Ideas” tab on the Law Day website:
CIVIC LEARNING—Becoming informed
Check your local newspapers where details about voting will apply to areas where you live. Also look for sections in print and online editions that focus on election news. Educators in particular should encourage students to follow the news about candidates and their campaigns and keep track of what they learn by collecting stories, made easier through electronic editions, and/or have students record in journals what they learn every day.
Teachers may designate specific races for individual students or groups of students to follow, so that students have opportunities to examine critically fewer candidates. To make informed choices, voters and future voters have to find out as much as possible on a day-to-day basis about candidates and their campaigns and read about critical issues that shape public policy and budgets.
NC FACTS—Primary and Runoff Elections
Early voting in North Carolina takes place Thursday, April 24, through Saturday, May 3. Anyone who plans to vote early should check locations as those may have changed from the last election and check times when polls are open as polling hours vary county to county. Ballots will include contests for the U.S. House and Senate, the state Supreme Court, legislative races, school board and other local positions. Tuesday, May 6 is the date for voting in the primary. If fewer than 40% of voters choose a single candidate, the two top candidates will meet in a runoff held July 15, 2014.
NC FACTS—General Election
The NC Voter Guide (http://ncvoterguide.org/answers/) publishes a calendar that includes the following dates:
Oct. 10 - Deadline to register to vote in general election
Oct. 23 - Nov. 1 - Early voting period for general election
Oct 28 - Last day to request absentee ballot for general election
TUESDAY, NOV. 4: ELECTION DAY
News stories such as the following answer questions critical to voters: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/23/3806502/number-of-hours-for-early-voting.html#storylink=cpy
Other sources answer questions: One is a website created by Democracy NC: http://ncelectionconnection.com/voting-in-nc/
SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT—Blogs
Several experts in government publish blogs that explain the most recent ELECTIONS laws:http://canons.sog.unc.edu/?cat=352
All of the blogs posted by Robert Joyce can be found here: http://canons.sog.unc.edu/?author=15
Links to specific blogs follow:
Joyce’s most recent blogs, cited above, deal with current election laws. But, more information about NC elections can be found here: http://allthingsvoting.org/2012/04/28/lesson-plan-elected-offices-in-north-carolina/
Teachers, ask students to investigate, gathering all available facts, using varied news stories, conducting interviews and polling to answer a question raised by the Washington Post about NC voters in this story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/09/17/n-c-voters-dont-know-much-about-new-state-election-law/
How much do you as a future voter know about recent changes to election laws? How much do current voters know?
What do you want to know about election laws? What do you need to know to be sure your vote counts in the future?
What do you learn from research about changes in election laws?
What effect(s) do the changes have on the 2014 election, and what effect(s) do you expect the changes to have on future elections?
Students should list and cite all sources of information and discuss what they learn in teams, small groups and the whole class.
Prepared April 25, 2014