| »

Muldoon Announces for Lieutenant Governor, Calls Candidacy a 'Choice, not an Echo',

Steve Waters

In this press release, Republican Patrick Muldoon announces his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor in the 2009 election. Muldoon raises issues he plans to address during his campaign. He also makes reference to his opponent in the primaries, incumbent…

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.

Virginia Campaign Finance Website,

Virginia State Board of Elections

This website offers government-mandated disclosure information for campaign finance contributions to candidates for Virginia state and local elections. Members of the public can view sometimes-surprising information about who made large contributions to Virginia candidates and political committees. PACs range from the Cigar Association of Virginia to the Virginia Taxicab Association. This website raises questions about the role of PACs and campaign finance, and can lead to discussions of these issues.

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.

Why I'm Supporting Senator Deeds for Governor,

Charlottesville Mayor David Brown

This document is a letter from the Mayor of Charlottesville explaining his support for Creigh Deeds' gubernatorial campaign. Although the letter is adressed to "John," the true audience was wider than an individual. Senator Deeds' campaign website…

The ReDistricting Game,

USC Annenburg Foundation

The ReDistricting Game teaches students about the challenges and potential of redistricting, as well as the problem of gerrymandering. The website features five different games: Fundamentals, Partisan Gerrymander, Bipartisan Gerrymander, Voting Rights Act, and Reform. Each game has both a basic and advanced level, as well as links to further information. The game can serve as the foundation for a classroom discussion on gerrymandering in Virginia, or a fun independent learning session for anyone who wants to know more about the difficulties of gerrymandering.

The Gerry-Mander,

Elkanah Tisdale

In 1812, Jeffersonian Republicans forced through the Massachusetts legislature a bill rearranging district lines to assure them an advantage in the upcoming senatorial elections. Although Governor Elbridge Gerry had only reluctantly signed the law, a…

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…