Identify specific ways for individuals to serve their communities and participate responsibly in civil society and the political process at local, state, and national levels of government.


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  • See United States History II.5 for information on labor unions and radical political parties in American history

  • See Grade 5.27 for protections for and examples oef citizen participation in government and political change

For more, see Participating in Government from the online textbook American Government from US History.org

Local elections

  • The day-to-day issues that affect Americans the most are often on these ballots .
  • Elections occur at all levels including school boards, wards, boroughs, counties, towns, cities, and states.
  • Some local and state taxes are placed on these ballots.

massseal.gifHow to register to vote in Massachusetts


State government
Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House



Federal government




Top reasons why many Americans choose not to vote:
  1. Difficulty of registration- Most states require registration 10-30 days before vote.
  2. Difficulty of absentee voting- Makes it very hard for people to vote if they are busy or out of town during election day.
  3. The number of offices to elect.
  4. Weekday voting- Many registered voters are unable to vote if they are working.
  5. Political disconnect- Many political parties are not strong at the local or "grass roots" level. This leads to unpopular candidacies.