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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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks about Green new deal in front of Capitol

So, What Is the Green New Deal?

Post | February 20, 2019

In the weeks since Democrats took over the House of Representatives, an idea has been gaining some momentum and media attention: A Green New Deal. According to CNN’s Zachary Wolf, the proposal will likely become a litmus test on the road to the Democratic presidential nomination.1 In this post, we’ll take a look at what […]


ERA women's rights protest

ERA Won’t Go Away

Post |

“Yes Virginia, there is an ERA” “One State to 38!” These slogans adorned the banners and signs that ERA supporters brought to the Virginia State Capitol at the beginning of the General Assembly’s legislative session this January. ¹ ERA activists are hoping that this year’s session would include a floor vote on ratification of the […]


U.S. Congressman speaks at press conference

H.R. 1 – A Bill to Rescue Democracy?

Post | January 22, 2019

The first bill introduced in the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is H.R. 1, informally known as the For the People Act. (The bill’s full title is H.R. 1: To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other […]


House of Representatives

New Year, New Congress

Post | December 18, 2018

Congress is adjourning for the holiday break and when it comes back in January, the new congressional class will be the most diverse in history. The November elections saw historic wins for women and minority groups that have lacked representatives of their demographics. The 116th Congress will include several notable members: There will be a record […]


Protest poster

Don’t Like the Election Results? Change Them!

Post | December 11, 2018

Just when you thought it was safe to declare the 2018 midterm elections over… Historically, the results of elections have always been honored, even when the fairness of a given contest is debatable. In recent history, for example, some people questioned to what extent the elections of John F. Kennedy1, Richard Nixon2, Ronald Reagan3, George W. Bush4, […]


Political Cartoon immigration debt healthcare

Congressional Term Limits: A Balance on a Check?

Post | November 26, 2018

In this week’s blog post, we will explore an idea that is gaining some traction in the United States: term limits for members of Congress. New Kids on The Very, Very Old Block After attending orientation classes (yes, those are a thing) and being sworn in, freshman representatives and senators will take their seats next […]


Vote democrat republican

Making Sense of Election Results, Part 2

Post | November 12, 2018

In this post, we will take a look at some important issues that voters weighed in on in last week’s election. Our previous post examined the shift in the national political landscape, especially the change of power in the House of Representatives. This post will take a look at ballot initiatives across the country. For a full […]


Political Cartoon 2018 Midterm elections

Making Sense of Election Results, Part 1

Post | November 9, 2018

Tuesday’s election strengthened the Republican majority in the Senate, but it is likely that the most significant outcome at the national level is Democrats’ new majority in the House of Representatives. In this post, we will explore some of the trends and data from the midterms as well as some of the implications of divided […]


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