What Am I Voting For?

Overview

TEKS

USG.3 Geography. The student understands how geography can influence U.S. political divisions and policies. The student is expected to:

  1. Understand how population shifts affect voting patterns.

USG. 10 Government. The student understands the processes for filling public offices in the U.S. system of government. The student is expected to:

  1. compare different methods of filling public offices, including elected and appointed offices at the local, state, and national levels.

USG.11 Government. The student understands the role of political parties in the U.S. system of government. The student is expected to:

  1. analyze the functions of political parties and their role in the electoral process at local, state, and national levels.
  2. explain the two-party system and evaluate the role of third parties in the United States.

ACGM Student Learning Outcomes

GOVT 2305/2306. Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the election process.
  2. Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  3. Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.

Overview

Americans have a strong tradition of electing leaders. In Texas, we elect many leaders – school boards, mayors and councils, judges, county officials, state officials and federal officials. We also vote on other things like whether our cities and school districts will be allowed to incur debt, whether our state constitution will be amended, and on and on. We Texans are asked to vote all the time for many different candidates and issues. It’s how we make democracy work.

The advantage of doing things this way is that we citizens have a strong say in how we are governed, and government officials are generally responsive because their tenure in office depends on the favor of the voters. The disadvantage is that the shear number of elections and election types results in complexity and can be overwhelming. Voters are required to understand this complex system to some degree in order to make good decisions. In this module, we look at the major types of elections and examine issues associated with each type.

Grade Level

  • 11-12
  • Higher Ed

Essential Question

  • What Am I Voting For?

Objectives

  1. List the steps in the election process for the different types of elections. (Level 1)
  2. Describe how candidates are selected in Texas to run in the general election for federal, state, and county offices. (Level 2)
  3. Explain how partisan elections differ from non-partisan elections. (Level 3)
  4. Describe how electoral systems influence voters and election outcomes. (Level 3)

Materials

  • Activity Questions
  • Definitions (optional)
  • Video: What Am I Voting For? ( 3:48 minutes)
    Link to the video using this URL: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/ikrln
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