Lesson 2: Finding Partisan Information on Candidates
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Lesson 2: Finding Partisan Information on Candidates

Students explore candidate campaign websites and other sources to investigate policy actions by candidates on issues they care about. (45 minutes)


Jamboard/Padlet or discussion: What info from the nonpartisan info do you think is most important in choosing who to vote for? Students might say party, experience, race, gender, occupation, sexual orientation, military, etc. 

Whole Class Instruction or Asynchronous

Now that you’ve explored nonpartisan sources, it’s time to dig into their policy actions and statements on issues you care about. For this we can use candidate campaign websites, candidate social media links, party websites, and political action committee sources.

Authentic Performance Task

Who’s On My Ballot? Part 2: Finding partisan information about candidates:

  • Return to the Committee of Seventy ballot tool, and/or Ballotpedia. Find the official website for the candidate (below the candidate’s photo). Search the website for positions or platform statements on the issues you care about. Add to your T-charts. Do the same using their social media links and organizations that support and oppose them.
  • Repeat this process for each office and candidate on your ballot.
  • Circle and make notes or “+” and “-” symbols next to the most significant items on your T-charts. Is there a clear choice of candidate, or do you need to do more research to decide?

Making Your Personal Voter Guid

  • Return to the Committee of Seventy ballot tool and sign in.
  • Use your T-charts to select the candidate you will or would vote for. Click “Add to my ballot.” Repeat for each office for which you’ve made your decision.
  • Is your ballot complete? Click “Email ballot” or “Print ballot” to get your personal voter guide or “cheat sheet.”
  • When you receive your mail-in ballot, or when you go to the polls, use your guide on paper or your phone to make your choices!

Check for Understanding

Discuss and debate candidates. Teachers may also wish to check T-charts for completion.

An interesting video, from our partners at the Pitt Disinformation Lab: Behind The Ballot: Why Does It Take So Long to Count Votes in Pennsylvania? (4 minutes on YouTube)