Vermont Votes for Kids: A project of the Vermont Secretary of State
Curriculum Grades 9-12, Teacher Materials for Lesson 2:
Who's Watching the Ballot Box?
People need to know when they go to the bank to deposit hard-earned funds that their investment is safe. Similarly they need to feel confident when they go to the polling place or send their ballot through the mail that their hard-won right of suffrage is secure. From the registration process, through the counting of ballots, and the contents on the ballot, to the certification of the final results, their investment in democracy needs to be safe and reliable.
The Elections Division of the Vermont's Secretary of State plays a vital and ongoing role in safeguarding and enhancing the quality and reliability of the entire election process. This elected office not only serves as the "watchdog" (guardian) of the procedures and results of elections but also strives continually to make voter registration and voting ever more accessible, reliable and efficient. However, each person also plays a vital role and has the responsibility to help protect the integrity of the electoral process by guarding against fraud during voter registration.
This lesson will:
ACTIVITY: WEB BASED
Copy Student Lesson Two for each student. This activity can be done individually or collaboratively in teams of two or three students.
Students are directed to destinations on the Internet where they will research some of the safeguards that are in place of the election process. These assignments can be assigned as homework or be done in a computer lab setting. The activities challenge them to teach themselves in a directed fashion, seeking answers to questions on three separate topics.
For activities one, two & three students are directed initially to write their answers. You can then decide whether to have those written answers turned in as a quality writing assignment (more formal) or used as the basis for sharing in class, or both.
Activity three is designed to be a collaborative effort using the "1-3-6" technique wherein each student does initial reflection alone, then combines his/her thoughts with those of two others for initial pooling of ideas and views. Next, each small group pairs with one other group to further refine arguments and maximize the chance for each student to again share questions and learn with others. Note that at the end you will need to facilitate a polling of group results on the issue. This could lead to a very fruitful discussion by the entire class since each individual has had several prior opportunities to engage the topic already.
ONE: THE FINANCING OF CAMPAIGNS IN VERMONT
TWO: INFORMING VOTERS
THREE: THE 2006 Election
Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz: http://www.vermontvotesforkids.com