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Virginia Service,

Virginia Office of Volunteerism and Community Service

Virginia Service is a portal for volunteer opportunities run by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Hands-on volunteering opportunities are an excellent way for students to learn about civic duty and good citizenship. In addition to a search feature of available volunteering opportunities, Virginia Service also describes some academic benefits of volunteering.

Political Activity for Public Servants (Hatch Act),

U.S. Office of Special Counsel

These Hatch Act guidelines outline the legal restrictions placed on government employees’ involvement in political activities. This website is aimed at state, federal, and local government officials, and it offers a window into potentially problematic areas of government. How may state and federal officials participate in political campaigns? When does it become a conflict of interest? These questions and more could form the basis of a classroom discussion or a research project.

Virginia Public Access Project,

VPAP

The Virginia Public Access Project is a non-profit, non-partisan organization which strives to provide information to the public about Virginia campaign donations through computer technology. Their website offers maps of where legislator’s donations come from, the size of their donations, and lists of contributors. There is also information on lobbyists, donors, vendors, and committees. In addition to using the wealth of information on this site, students may benefit from comparing it to the Virginia State Board of Elections Campaign Finance Website. How does a private group’s portrayal of campaign financing differ from the government website?

Virginia Voter Registration,

Virginia State Board of Elections

The Virginia State Board of Elections publishes voter registration information. Eligible citizens can use this site to register to vote, and get involved in the political process. Even those who can’t vote may use this website as a way to encourage friends of family members to vote.

Capitol Classroom: Games,

Virginia General Assembly

Capitol Classroom’s Games is a series of printable classroom games and classroom activities for students in grades K-12. Many games for younger students can be adapted for an older audience. A particularly relevant activity for older students is the Civics I.Q. test, which quizzes users on their participation in different levels of their civic involvement. This game shows that civic involvement is more than just voting in an election.

Rock the Vote,

Rock the Vote

Founded nearly twenty years ago, Rock the Vote works to involve students in the electoral process through many methods, including contemporary music, with artists ranging from Madonna to Snoop Dogg. There are also guides to voter registration campaigns, and even a Twitter feed. In addition, the website offers guides on how to mobilize young voters. Rock the Vote has remarkably flexible materials to involve youth in the electoral process at the state, national, or local level.

Is The Internet a Viable Threat to Representative Democracy?,

David M. Thompson

In this article, lawyer David M. Thompson examines the impact of the internet on the voting process. He analyzes the principles behind the Greek definition of "representative democracy" in light of new technology. In arguments ranging from an…

Voter Turnout, 1948-2004,

American National Election Studies

The above graph of voter turnout from 1948 to 2004 shows interesting an interesting, up-and-down trend, which raises important questions. How does voter turnout correspond to presidential versus non-presidential elections? Are some elections more…

C-SPAN: The Youth Vote,

David Burstein

Most young people don't vote. In 2004, only 37% of eligible voters aged 18-24 voted. That was a dramatic 11% increase from 2000. In this video, Producer David Burstein discusses the issues of voter turnout among youth, which range from money to…