Vermont Votes for Kids: A project of the Vermont Secretary of State

Curriculum for Grades 9-12, Student Handout for Lesson 7:
Involvement - Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."
(President John F. Kennedy, 1961)

Kennedy's admonition to get involved for the sake of democracy still rings true. It summons each of us who share the "blessings of liberty" to give something back by contributing to the democratic process. But how? Is it by becoming informed on issues and candidates? Is it by helping in a campaign or expressing one's views?

Becoming involved requires that you know how the election process works, the vocabulary that is used, and the rules and procedures that are followed in Vermont. These questions will help you increase your knowledge of these matters.You may find the answers at the web site of the Vermont Secretary of State at, or in your American History or Government textbook, or in the school library, or through an Internet search engine.


Review Questions:

     1. Under state law, to be considered a Major Party, a party it must receive at least _____ percent of the votes for a statewide party candidate in the last general election AND reorganize in the following odd year in at least __ towns.
     2. What are the names of the major parties in Vermont?
     3. What are the names of two major or minor political parties that are unfamiliar to you? Do they have web sites or email addresses?
     4. What are at least five more ways to join in support of your favorite candidate or issue? (Examples given are creation of signs and sending postcards to friends or family.)



Comprehensive Review Questions:

Section A

     1. Voters who will be absent from their communities, voters otherwise unable to vote in person on election day, or voters who simply choose to do so may request an _____ _____ from the Town Clerk.
     2. How close to the polling places may candidates display signs and greet voters?
     3. Vermont polling places close at ______ on election day.
     4. The nickname for the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 is the "_____ ____" law because it allows residents to obtain voter registration materials as they apply for a driver's license.
     5. The official list of all candidates and issues upon which a voter is entitled to vote at an election is called the ______.

Section B

     1. An election required to be held on a fixed date in November recurring at regular intervals is the ________ election.
     2. A _____ ____ is a way to raise money for public projects like a new school, if approved by a vote of the people.
     3. The list of registered voters in a Vermont town is called the __________________.
     4. Winning by a number that is greater than others in a list but less than a simple majority is called winning by a _______.
     5. A voters Application for Addition to the checklist should be presented to the ________ ________.
     6. A question or proposal submitted in an election to obtain the voters' will on the matter, sometimes called a proposition, is a _____.
     7. The process that reduces the field of candidates for public office in advance of the general election is called the _____.
     8. When a candidate or a measure receives over 50% of the votes cast the result is called a _____.

Section C

     1. One who seeks or is nominated for an office is a _____ or a nominee.
     2. This term refers to the office of governor, as in a _____ candidate.
     3. Certain elective public offices are ____ offices which means that the candidates run for the position on the basis of political party membership.
     4. The _____ is the person who presently holds an office, either by election or appointment.
     5. A group that shares the same views about government and works together to win elections is called a ____ ____.
     6. A candidate not affiliated with a political party is said to be an _______ candidate.
     7. A ______ is what we call the set of principles and positions on issues that a candidate or political party endorses as part of a campaign.
     8. Names that are not included on the official ballot but are added by a voter in the act of voting are called ______ _____.
     9. A time period (generally one week) used to register for a political contest is called the _____ period.
     10. An official's ______ is the body of voters having the right to take part in the election of a candidate.
     11. Committees formed by business, organizations or unions to contribute funds to a candidate or issue are called _____ _____ Committees.

Section D

These political divisions are listed out of order. Rearrange them in their correct ascending order from most local to most global or distant.

     District, State, Town, County, Nation



Review Questions:

     1. What is the term for the process of examining ballots or groups of ballots, subtotals, and cumulative totals in order to determine the official returns of, and prepare the certification for, a primary or general election? ______
     2. To ___ is to attempt to influence politics in favor of a special interest.

     3. The number of people who voted in an election is called the _____ _____. It's often expressed as a percentage of registered voters who cast ballots.
     4. Since election night voting results are unofficial, how many days have to pass for the results of the general election of November 2004 to be reported by local canvassing committees? ______

     5. Are absentee ballots are still accepted and tabulated after election day? _______
     6. Who is in charge of examining the ballots and vote totals in order to determine the official returns for an election? ______ ______ ______




Fill in the names of offices that fit the criteria given.

Offices that require an election every 2 years:



Offices that require an election every 4 years:


Offices that require an election every 6 years:



Vermont Secretary of State