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Tip of the Week: Voting Information Goodies

Apparently the election is over and the results are in.

The Scholastic Student Vote started earlier this fall and ended  this week. President Obama finished with 51%, Governor Romney finished with 45%, and 4% of the kids voted for another candidate. The Vote may not be official, but its results have often indicated who eventually wins the presidential race. Scholastic has conducted the student mock vote during every presidential election since 1940 and the results have mirrored the actual outcome of all but two elections—1948, when kids voted for Thomas E. Dewey over Harry S. Truman, and 1960, when they selected Richard M. Nixon over John F. Kennedy.

I’ll post more election goodies next week but thought I would start with some voting information so that you can get you own mock election started.

Why Do We Vote on Tuesday?
Yeah. Why do we vote on Tuesday? Wouldn’t make more sense to vote over the weekend? This quick TED talk explains everything you need to know.

Scholastic Election Resources
Even though Scholastic Student Vote is over, they still have some great information and resources on their election page.

League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters is a citizens’ organization that has fought since 1920 to improve our government and engage all citizens in the decisions that impact their lives. Formed from the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the centerpiece of the League’s efforts remain to expand participation and give a voice to all Americans.

Smart Voter
“Unbiased Voter Information. Your trusted source of information about voting and the candidates and issues on your ballot.”

Build your ballot with their online voters’ guide. Type in your address to see the races on your ballot. Candidates’ positions can be compared side-by-side, and you may print out a “ballot” indicating your preferences as a reminder and take it with you to the polls on Election Day.

Vote USA
Get your customized sample ballot and evaluate your candidates and ballot measures. Pictures, bios, YouTube videos, social media links and, most importantly, the candidates’ positions on the issues are all presented side-by-side for easy comparison. And, all information is candidate authored or obtained from the candidates’ websites. Vote-USA has no political agenda.

Project Vote Smart
Whose views align with yours?

Have fun!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Greg #

    I am not surprised that young people vote in higher numbers for Obama considering how the mainstream media treats both candidates. These candidates are very different yet most young people I know can’t tell me one actual difference between the candidates (other than cosmetic/superficial differences).

    October 24, 2012
    • glennw #

      I agree that many voters, including young people, don’t seem to have a grasp of the electoral process. Part of our job as social studies teachers is to train our kids to evaluate and judge based on facts and evidence / to help them understand that decisions they make are important. We can use primary and secondary sources with our students to help them develop high level thinking skills. We can create quality problems for them to solve so that they gain experience in identifying issues and following a process for deciding what their response should be.

      I’m happy that young people are voting (no matter who they vote for)! My concern is that is not just young people who vote based on incomplete information, it’s that it seems as if most voters don’t have any idea of why they vote they way they do.

      It’s still amazes me that at this point in the election process that there are still “undecided” voters. Really? Romney’s being running for president since 2004, Obama BEEN president since 2008. Shouldn’t people have an idea by now? And as social studies teachers, I think we need to take part of the blame for that.

      Thanks for the comment! And thanks for letting me vent just a little bit.


      October 24, 2012

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