NIE—Nov. 16-22, 2016—History

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This Week’s Anton Lesson Plan

In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump’s 290 electoral votes beat Hillary Clinton’s grand total of 228. This despite the fact that the popular vote came up as 60,467,245 in favor of Clinton over Trump’s 60,071,650 at press time. With so much talk in the media about voting and reevaluating the current system in place, there is no better time to talk to students about the history of voting in this country, electoral versus popular votes and the changes that came along the way when the early history of the United States primarily limited voting to white, property-owning males.

Four amendments that went into place that changed the landscape of who could cast a ballot were the 15th (males regardless of race, color or previous condition of servitude), the 19th (no one could be denied the right on the basis of sex), the 24th (eliminating the right to vote based on the payment of a poll or any other kind of tax) and the 26th (anyone who is at least 18 years old cannot be denied the right to vote).

If you are teaching a high school class, it could be helpful to instruct those students who are a couple of years off from being eligible to vote the particulars behind first registering. What might also be illuminating would be to have someone come speak to your class who might have taken part in the wave of college students that went down South to register voters during the Civil Rights Movement prior to the signing into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Other topics that can be discussed could be felony disenfranchisement, obstacles homeless citizens face during voter registration and how absentee ballots work.

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