V #1: "Who Can Vote?"
Before 1870, only white males 21 years of age or older could vote.
Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1870)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1920)
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Twenty-sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1971)
The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age.
V #2: "Who Can't Vote?"
Individuals who are not citizens
Citizens who are not registered to vote
Citizens who are on probation or parole after being convicted of a felony
Inmates of mental institutions
Persons who don't live in the state where the election is being held
V #3: "Why Vote?"
To elect individuals who will see that your needs are addressed
To get better services
To set a good example for your children
To be a responsible citizen
V #4: "Bad Reasons for Not Voting"
I'm not registered
"I don't know where to go, and who cares, anyway."
My vote won't make a difference
"My one vote won't make any difference."
I don't know what the election is about
"How am I supposed to know what's going on?"
I don't know any of the candidates
"I don't know these people, so what difference does it make?"
V #5: "When Picking a Candidate, Don't..."
Don't make a decision based on just one source of information.
Don't be influenced by "empty" campaign statements.
Don't trust candidates who promise the world.
V #6: "When Picking a Candidate, Do..."
Select a candidate who is CLEAR and SPECIFIC about what he or she stands for.
Voter: "Where do you stand on the abortion rights issue?"
Select a candidate who will UNDERSTAND your needs and concerns.
Voter: "Do you think you understand the needs of urban areas?"
Select a candidate who will REPRESENT your needs and concerns.
Voter: "I'm very concerned about a quality education for my children."
Community Resource Lesson
1. Introduce yourself to the students, and explain your role as it relates to the voting process.
2. Tell students that you will be talking with them about the actual procedures for registering to vote and voting.
3. Explain to students:
How they can find out when an election is going to take place;
How to find out where and when they should go to vote; and
Who they should contact if they have questions or problems.
Close the lesson by emphasizing the importance of voting as a way to get one's voice heard and to be a responsible citizen.
Family Involvement Activities
Possible activities for family involvement include the following:
1. Parents can give their young children early experiences in participatory democracy by allowing them to participate in some of the decisions that affect their lives. For example:
When assigning simple household chores to small children, give them a choice of tasks or times to carry out the tasks.
When dressing small children, give them choices. For example, "Would you rather wear the red shirt or the blue one?"
2. Parents can give their young children practice in analyzing and evaluating information. For example, after reading a story to a child, ask the child how he or she felt about something that happened in the story"How did you feel when . . .?" "What might have happened if . . .?" "Was this a good way to end the story?" "Would you like the story better if . . .?"