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Get Ready for Election Day and Beyond

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We’re in the home stretch. Election Day 2016 is almost here and will mark the end of a historic–and historically contentious–campaign season. Here are some suggestions for bringing election-related projects and lessons to a close with a special focus on Election Day and what comes next.  

Explainer: What Is the Deal With the Electoral College?
This video and post on KQED’s The Lowdown breaks down the history and inner workings on one of the quirkiest (and confusing) parts of our democracy.

PBS Electoral Decoder from PBS Election Central
Get ready for the election night with this interactive look at the returns from every election in U.S. history! The map + timeline tool gives a summary of each campaign as well as the key issues of the day. In 2012, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama squared off over the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Compare that to the election of 1860 when Abraham Lincoln was confronting the dissolution of the union and the start of the Civil War.

Improving Elections in the United States
This lesson plan and the documentary
Election Day offers a “street level” look at how Americans vote and highlights the diversity of polling places, ballots and voting methods in our country, where elections are managed by each county or municipality.

What Is the Actual Job Description of the President of the United States?
We vote for the president, but how much power does the he/she really have? Can all those campaign promises become reality? This post, also from The Lowdown, explains it all and includes a lesson plan, as well as videos from PBS’s Crash Course Government series.


Action Civics Toolbox
The election will soon be decided and the campaigns will close up shop. But the issues at the center of our national conversation are here to stay. These tools from the National Action Civics Collaborative provides ways for students make their voices heard.

Letters to the Next President 2.0 archive
 The Letters to the Next President project closes on Election Day, but the thousands of letters created by teens will remain online and accessible to all. Students can discover where their peers across the country stand on issues that matter most to them. Issues trending this week? Immigration, gun control, abortion rights and education.

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