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How We Vote

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Civics +2 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

This collection invites users to explore how Americans have voted throughout our history and the innovations that have improved the voting process. Students will closely investigate images from the 19th and 20th century in order to determine potential flaws and improvements in the democratic process. Links to websites for additional reading are included as well as assessments and a possible extension activity.

Guiding questions:

-How has the process of voting changed in the last two centuries? Consider who, what, when, where, why, and how when answering this question.

-How have technological changes enhanced voting? What challenges remain?

Tags: civics, elections, campaigns, vote, ballot, ballot box, democracy, electoral process, change over time, cause effect

Vote

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The County Election (1), (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

The County Election (1), (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

McClellan Ballot, 1864

National Museum of American History

Photograph of a young woman demonstrating use of voting machine

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Voting machine used in the 2000 Presidential election

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Introduction to Vote: The Machinery of Democracy

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access