GOVERNMENT & ELECTIONS

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Government & Elections and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

U.S. Government in Context

What are the ideas and institutions that make up U.S. government? Learn More >

U.S. Elections in Context

How does the U.S. electoral system work? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

Voting by Mail

Available for Middle & High School

Should all states conduct elections entirely by mail? Learn More >

The Electoral College

Available for Middle & High School

Should states join the National Popular Vote pact? Learn More >

Voter ID Laws

Available for Middle & High School

Should states require voters to present a government-approved ID? Learn More >

Understanding the Media

When we refer to "The Media", what do we mean? Learn More >

Gerrymandering

Should the federal government mandate that states end partisan gerrymandering? Learn More >

Youth Voting

Available for Middle & High School

Should the voting age be lowered to 16? Learn More >

Videos from Policymakers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

Voting Rights

State Representatives Jasmine Clark (D-GA) & Robert Dickey (R-GA) 
April 16, 2021

Electoral College Certification

Congressman Jodey Arrington (R-TX)
January 6, 2021

Shaping the Future of Information, Technology & Media

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
October 26, 2020

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Government & Elections

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COVID-19 and Political Reform

Videos | May 20, 2020

During this seminar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty discusses ‘COVID-19 and Political Reform’ with John Milewski, Director of Digital Programming & Managing Editor and Host of the Wilson Center ON DEMAND from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  John speaks with Joe about government funding and political reform in the wake of COVID-19 in regards to health care, education and business. 


privilege and the supreme court

Executive Privilege and the Supreme Court

Post | May 18, 2020

Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases involving President Donald Trump’s tax returns and financial records, Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Deutsche Bank. During the 2016 election, then-candidate Trump broke with tradition and refused to release many of his financial records and tax returns. The president is suing his accountants and […]


Lockdown Newspaper Headline

Calm or Chaos: The Role of the Media During a Crisis

Post | May 5, 2020

As the novel coronavirus continues to dominate the headlines, the American public is facing an onslaught of information about the pandemic. Social and traditional media are covering developments, spreading opinions, and broadcasting statistics about COVID-19. There has been a strong association between coronavirus media coverage and an increase in public attention on the virus itself […]


US Congress

Should Congress Be Allowed to Vote Remotely?

Post | April 14, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 42 states—along with Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.—have issued stay-at-home orders, effectively barring at least 316 million Americans from going out unless absolutely necessary.1 While essential businesses and services remain open, many workers now find themselves working from home. Considering the circumstances, should Congress also be allowed to vote […]


Biden and Sanders

Postponed Presidential Primaries and the Pandemic

Post | April 7, 2020

With COVID-19 dominating both the headlines and the realities of everyday life in the United States, it can be hard to remember that we are in the midst of a presidential primary with a general election only seven months away. The State of the Race A little over a month ago, former Vice President Joe […]


Universal Basic Income: Pipe Dream or Proactive Policy?

Post | February 28, 2020

On November 6, 2017, businessman Andrew Yang began a presidential campaign centered on a signature policy, Universal Basic Income (UBI).1 If put in place, this UBI or “Freedom Dividend” would give every adult American $1,000 a month, no questions asked.2 The idea captured some voters’ imaginations; although Yang ultimately suspended his campaign after a poor […]


Understanding Ideological Labels

Post | February 20, 2020

During campaigns and elections, candidates use political labels, such as liberal, moderate, progressive, conservative, and libertarian, to position themselves in relation to each other and as a shorthand for their worldviews and policy preferences. This presidential election cycle features candidates from across a wider political spectrum than most elections in recent years. In the United […]


Is It a Crime When Politicians Lie?

Post | February 5, 2020

“There’s a clear difference between politics and a crime,” Michael Levy told the Supreme Court in January,1 when he made arguments in a case about New Jersey’s “Bridgegate” scandal. As the justices considered whether or not a public official commits fraud by obfuscating the “real reason”2 behind a decision, they asked both sides tough questions […]


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