woman holding open voting booth curtain

Election 2008

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Volunteers at polling place

Volunteers collect ballots on Super Tuesday (Image source. More about the photograph)


Ben’s Guide: Elections (US Government Printing Office)
While a bit text-heavy, this U.S. Government website provides a thorough explanation of how we elect a president, senators, and representatives, and (for higher grade levels) information on primaries, election day, voter registration, and the duties and responsibilities of citizens.

Elections: The American Way (Library of Congress)
From the Learning Page lessons created alongside the American Memory website, this historically weighted resource treats both past and present elections in terms of:

Includes interesting material about how the major parties have changed over time, and covers issues such as slavery which have dominated past elections.

Electionline (The Pew Center)
Nonpartisan, non-advocacy site providing news and analysis on state and national election reform. The news feed breaks down into items of individual state or national scope. The calendar and administrative pages are dedicated to voter registration and candidate deadlines.

The Electoral College

Does My Vote Count? Understanding the Electoral College (LEARN NC)
A lesson plan and primer created by LEARN NC that explains the electoral college, examines its role in some controversial elections, and discusses how much a citizen’s vote actually “weighs.”

Methods of Voting

Vote: The Machinery of Democracy (The Smithsonian)
This interactive exhibit from the National Museum of American History explores how ballots and voting systems have evolved as a response to political, social, and technological change, transforming the ways in which Americans vote. Informative and full of visual aids but only updated through 2004.

Elections and Money

Open Secrets (Center for Responsive Politics)
Money talks and the candidates are listening. Are they listening more to the money than their constituents, or is the money representative of the will of the people? Learn about money and its role in politics. Provides explanations of the role and impact of PACs, soft money, and lobbying, and analyzes the issues from a financial perspective. Maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Reform organizations
A number of organizations are working to lessen the role of money in politics. Here are a few of the most prominent: