Making Voting Great Again

In the 2018 American midterm elections, was it harder for Whites or Nonwhites to vote?

  1. What story does the data tell?

  2. Explain why that is.

  3. What is one consequence of this “diversity in the ease of voting”?

  4. Of the voting problems listed in the chart which was the most common?

  5. Of the voting problems listed in the chart which do you think is the most troubling?

  6. Explain whether the information from the chart is good or bad news for democracy in America.

  7. What would be some specific steps the government could take to combat these voting problems?

  8. Explain whether you believe that the current administration will take steps to make voting more equally easy.

  9. Explain the connection between voting and federalism.

  10. Explain the connection between voting and separation of powers.

  11. Explain the connection between voting and The Power rangers. (pro tip: Power rangers don’t like separation of powers.)

  12. Imagine that you are testifying before the House Oversight and reform committee (the House committee overseeing elections) on ways to make voting easier, what would be the first step you would recommend we take?

  13. My Ancient U.S. House Representative and professional grandmother, Virginia Foxx (NC 05) is a member of the House Oversight and reform committee. Considering that she is a republican and the chair of the committee is Democratic, how much power will she have to influence policy coming out of this committee?

  14. Elijah Cummings (Marayland 07) who is also ancient is the chair of the House Oversight and reform committee. What are some specific powers he has as chair that will help him advance his agenda?

  15. Describe the process by which Mr. Cummings (or the chair of any committee) becomes chair?

  16. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, created in 1957 by the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans. List two specific things they can do to ensure the voting rights of americans:

  17. How Could the president of the United States influence the goals and methods of this division of the DOJ?

  18. In 2013, in Shelby v. Holder the SUpreme Court ruled Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act is unconstitutional, and that states no longer need the Justice Department’s pre-clearance (pre-approval) to alter voting rules or enforcement. Explain whether there is a connection between that ruling and the data in the chart above?

  19. If the SCOTUS saw the chart above and decided that it didn’t like what it was seeing, what could they do about it?

  20. The U.S. Constitution does not EVER use the word Democracy. NOT ONCE. Make a claim about what the framers of the COnstitution would have said about the current difficulty of voting for some americans.

  21. In federalist No. 10, James Freaking madison wrote, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; have in general been as short in their lives as they are violent in their deaths.” Explain whether James Madison sounds like a strong advocate of democracy here.

Fun Fact: Did you know that James Madison’s grandfather’s slaves poisioned him to death! That’s true!

Visual Extension

Learning Extension

Download and read the entire PRRI report on voting and the crisis in American Democracy.

Action Extension

The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has a form to report voting violations. SHare this form with anyone who is 18 or older and eligible to vote.


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