Research the platforms of political parties and candidates for state or local government and explain how citizens in the United States participate in public elections as voters and supporters of candidates for public office.


Polling Place, New York City, 1912
Polling Place, New York City, 1912

Topics on this page include:

History of Voting Rightsfdaf

Political Partiesfadfd

Additional Resources


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  • See Government 5.2 for information on the roles of citizens including voting in elections and participating in civic life



How Every NFL Team's Fans Lean Politically, FiveThirtyEight (September 29, 2017)



History of Voting Rights


Voting Rights, Minority Turnout and the Next Election from the Brookings (August 2015)
  • Includes Voter Turnout, by Race in 2004, 2008 and 2012 Presidential Elections

Voting Machine Booth Choices, 2012
Voting Machine Booth Choices, 2012

primary_sources.PNGClick here for the text of the Proposed Right to Vote Amendment to the Constitution. At present there is no right to vote explicitly set forth in the Constitution.

1960 Electoral College Map
1960 Electoral College Map





Voting in Early America from Colonial Williamsburg offers insights into the beginnings of elections in America. See also Grade 5.28 for material on voting in the 19th Century.


Go to United States History I.23 for background on voting patterns in the early 1800s.

external image 200px-Hebrew_timeline.svg.pngTimeline: Voting Rights Act from the ACLU

Voting America: United States Politics, 1840-2008 from the University of Richmond provides interactive maps and other resources for understanding presidential and congressional elections.

America Votes: 1607-2012 from the National Archives.

map_icon.jpegMap of Voter Suppression Measures Passed Since 2011 from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Electoral College

What is the Electoral College? and Electoral Reform: One Page, Nine Points from the Huffington Post provides resources on how the President is elected in the United States. For more about the Electoral College, see USG 5.2.


Click here for an example of a literacy test from Louisiana given to black voters in the 1960s.

Project Vote offers information about all aspects of the election process, including material on Early Voting which is allowed in 32 states and produced a significant gain in participation among minority voters.

primary_sources.PNGSee also the federal district court decision in Obama for America v. Husted that restored early in-person voting on the three days before the 2012 general election in Ohio.

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2012 Presidential ElectionGreen Party ballot access.  Image by ThrawnRocks.
2012 Presidential ElectionGreen Party ballot access. Image by ThrawnRocks.

Political Parties

rotating gif.gifFor more on political parties, see Government 3.7 and Political Parties and Elections.
lessonplan.jpgWhat is a Political Party?

Democratic National Committee

Republican National Committee

The Green Party

The Tea Party

Crash Course video about history of US politics.

Additional Resources:

external image Red_apple.jpgOur Power and Responsibility features documents and resources for teaching about the first Presidential election in this country.
game_icon.svg.pngVoteEasy offers information about the basics of the United States government and offers additional information about politicians.

Mad Money, a website from the Washington Post kept track of campaign spending in the 2012 Presidential election.