Civics Activity - Exploring Franchise and Elections

Directions: Utilize your Internet research skills to find facts that support your answer to each question. answer form

1. At what age do United States citizens gain suffrage?


2. What is franchise?


3. How does a citizen in your community register to vote?


4. What are the qualifications for voting in your state?


Are the qualifications appropriate?


If no, what change do you suggest?


5. What is the purpose of a primary election?


When is the next primary or general election in your community?


6. Where do people in your neighborhood go to vote?


7. In addition to the candidates who are running for office,
there may be an initiative or referendum on the ballot.

What is a referendum?


8. Who is in charge of elections in your community?


Who is in charge of elections in your state?


9. The people of the United States do not elect the President. Explain.



10. It is reported that 60.93% of eligible voters participated in the 2004 United States national election.
In the most recent election:

Which state had the highest eligible voter turnout?


Which had the lowest eligible voter turnout?


Where did your state fall in this range? Draw a line showing the highest and lowest at the ends.


Draw an intersecting line where your state's voter turnout falls.


How has this changed since the 2004 election?


Quick Facts About Young Voters

Where did your state fall in youth voter turnout in the 2004 election?


Which trend(s) in youth voting do you consider positive?


11. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that "the overall number of people who voted in the November 2004 election was 126 million, a record high for a presidential election year". The total population of the United States, in July 2004, was estimated at 293,655,404.

Using this data, to the nearest million what percentage of the total estimated population voted?


Why is it inaccurate to calculate voter turnout this way?


12. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe two of them.



On April 6, 1917, only four days into her term, the House voted on the resolution to enter World War I.
She voted against it. She said, "You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake."

Who was she?

What is remarkable about her presence in Congress at that time?


Read : According to Michael P. McDonald article, The Competitive Problem of Voter Turnout,
why do people choose to not vote?


What is the message of this political cartoon?


 checkmark red Extras:

checkmark red Create a chart showing the number of people in your community or state who voted in each of the last 4 elections.
America goes to the Polls report


checkmark red What impact has the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) had on elections in your state? (research required)


red checkmark CAST YOUR VOTE! Statistics and Polling


checkmark Youth Voter Campaign - Set a record - Move your class to achieve 100% registration & voting


checkmark Did you know? July 2, 1776, New Jersey gives "all inhabitants" of adult age with a net worth of 50 pounds the right to vote. Women property holders have the vote until 1807, when the state limited the vote to "free, white males." When did women gain the right to vote in your community?


Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. George Jean Nathan

red checkmark Complete one of these projects.

* Who represents you? | * Ballot access issues | * Elections and Term limits | * Susan B. Anthony right to vote

* Examine your Government's Demographic Statistics | * Constitution - Electing the President | * Constitution - Elections and Terms in Office

* Government Reform - Term Limits | * The Washington DC Voting Rights | * Citizen initiative and ballot referendum

red checkmark Examine “20 Million Reasons” to Register to Vote. Does it motivate you?

red checkmark The Constitution does not set forth requirements for the right to vote. Recount the history of voting rights in the United States from the adoption of the Constitution on September 17, 1787 to the Voting Rights Act (1965). Identify the point at which individual's like you were given the right to vote.

Identify the group of people who most recently gained the right to vote in the United States. When did this occur?


red checkmark Consider the issues in New York town defies U.S. on Hispanic voting rights. Do you believe that at-large elections deny representation?
How are elections handled in your community?


The Poor Voter on Election Day by John Greenleaf Whittier (1852)

The proudest now is but my peer,
The highest not more high;
To-day, of all the weary year,
A king of men am I.
To-day alike are great and small,
The nameless and the known
My palace is the people’s hall,
The ballot-box my throne!

Civics & Constitution Projects, Essays, Elections & Voting, Quotes, Resources

Selecting the President Freedom In America: Some Assembly Required Explore Civics Knowledge
Project Vote Smart Explore Pennsylvania Projects

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2007 Cynthia J. O'Hora. posted 3/2007 All trademarks, copyright and logos belong to their respective owners. UTD 3/2021

tree icon Save a tree - use a digital answer format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid blackmore, brodfont dear or other ornate artistic fonts). Save frequently as you work.Be sure to enter your name & the date at the top of the document. Submit via email attachment or class dropbox. Bad things happen: Save a copy of the response document for your records.

Proof read your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon How to: Make your own printer ready paper answer sheet with lines. gold star

National Educational Technology Standards for Students, Civic and Government, Reading, Writing & Listening