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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Twitter blog post

Political Ads on Social Media

Post | November 25, 2019

On October 30, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that, effective November 22, Twitter would ban all political advertising on its platform. Dorsey justified the decision by explaining that political ads present “entirely new challenges to civic discourse.”1 Twitter’s sweeping decision was not an arbitrary one; it was the result of a new wave of scrutiny […]


How the Supreme Court Could Reshape Discrimination Lawsuits

Post | November 15, 2019

On November 13, 2019, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media.1 The Court’s decision will determine how difficult it will be to bring future cases regarding possible racial bias to trial.2 Facts of the Case Byron Allen, an African American, owns Entertainment Studios Networks (ESN), which operates […]


What We Can Learn From the 2019 Elections

Post | November 12, 2019

On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, voters in eight states went to the polls to vote in local and statewide elections. Competitive gubernatorial and state legislative races were held in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Virginia.1 These were the last elections before the 2020 census, which could result in the redrawing of political boundaries in each state. Furthermore, […]


Protestors in front of Supreme Court in Washington, DC

The Supreme Court Will Address DACA. What Will Follow?

Post | October 30, 2019

On November 12, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the Trump administration’s efforts to end the immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The status of DACA recipients has been in limbo for over two years amidst administration actions and court injunctions. What Is DACA? After Congress failed in its […]


President Donald J Trump speaks to reporters with microphones

Understanding the Current Impeachment Inquiry

Post | October 15, 2019

In late September 2019, it was revealed that an officer at the Central Intelligence Agency filed an official complaint with the intelligence community’s inspector general, alleging that President Trump had engaged in an inappropriate phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky on July 25. The whistleblower alleged that President Trump threatened to withhold approximately $400 million […]


President Donald J. Trump

Eliminate Illegal Immigration; Make Immigration Work for the Economy

Post | October 9, 2019

Immigration policy and enforcement continues to be a major area of conflict between Democrats and Republicans. Currently, Congress is considering many bills related to immigration, asylum, migrant detention, and family separation. This week, we will look at two proposals that Republicans are advancing; two weeks ago, we examined two bills that Democrats are advancing. Republicans […]


Migrant Detention and Congressional Oversight

Post | September 16, 2019

Immigration policy and enforcement continues to be a major area of conflict between congressional Democrats and the executive branch. Currently, Congress is considering many bills related to immigration, asylum, migrant detention, and family separation. This week, we will look at two bills that Democrats are advancing; next week, we will look at two bills that […]


Religious Freedom or the Right to Discriminate?

Post | August 22, 2019

On August 15, the Department of Labor published proposed changes that would expand federal contractors’ ability to claim a religious exemption to equal opportunity and anti-discrimination rules.1 The proposed rule change, as written, could allow employers with federal contracts to fire or refuse to hire LGBTQ employees, and could even be used to fire unmarried […]


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