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Voting, Political Parties, and Political Campaigns
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Did you know that the U.S. Government has an official website? USA.gov is a comprehensive resource for U.S. citizens. This vast resource includes how one cares for the American flag, demographic and economic data about the United States, an overview of federal laws, how the U.S. government operates, federal regulations, government agencies, the U.S. budget, and perhaps the most important link: how to vote. The Voting and Elections webpage includes a primer on congressional, state, and local elections, including a How to Find Your State Election (this is important because each state handles voting registration and elections). In addition, The U.S. Vote Foundation webpage provides information regarding each state’s election dates and deadlines (all federal elections are on the same day).
Let’s say you have not registered to vote yet. That’s ok. You can learn more about registering to vote via the U.S. government’s Voter Registration webpage. In fact, registering to vote has recently gotten easier in some states: 38 states and the District of Columbia allow you to register online via the National Conference of State Legislatures webpage. If you wish to register to vote in person you have a number of options. You can register to vote at your state or local election office, the department of motor vehicles, and at armed forces recruitment centers.
Now, let us put your vote to good use. During an election you can vote on the following:
Now that you know about the upcoming ballot measures and the candidates running for office, it is time to conduct some election campaign research. Most, if not all, candidates advocate certain public policy positions regarding economic, educational, environmental, foreign, healthcare, and welfare concerns, among other issues.
Public policy is how government, at the federal, state, and local levels addresses public concerns. Public policy can be understood through the following characteristics:
As it must be in a democracy, public policy has been and continues to be strongly influenced by citizens, either as individuals or as groups, who are able to affect public policy through many outlets. They can:
In this discussion, you will analyze a politician as well as policies she or he endorses. The following resources can help you in this endeavor:
As you prepare for this discussion, consider this important quote by President Dwight D. Eisenhower: “The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.”
Directions: Using the required, academic readings, and supplemental academic research, please address the following while adhering to the Discussion Board Rubric:
Select a recent candidate or officeholder at the federal level that you considered supporting with your vote. Please analyze this person based on the following criteria:
Not Required/Optional: Based on the above research, why did you consider voting for this person?
About Pew Research Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/about/.
Ballotpedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page.
Official Guide to Government Information and Services: USAGov. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.usa.gov/.
OnTheIssues.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm.
The Voter’s Self Defense System. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://votesmart.org/.
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