Guided Primary Source Analysis: Does Your Vote for President Count?

Mr. Citizen, Here’s How Little Your Vote Counts

Work in a group to discuss what you can learn from this historical newspaper article (download .pdf) just by examining the headline, illustrations, the introduction (the first three paragraphs), and the section headers. What questions do you still have?

Divide the reading of the article among your group members so that each reads 2 or 3 of the 9 sections, then discuss what you’ve read to answer the questions below.

  • What was the main point of each section?
  • How does each section relate to the article as a whole?
  • Based on your reading, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the Electoral College?
  • Were any of your previous questions answered? What questions do you still have?

Now investigate some pros and cons of the electoral college and research contemporary ideas for Electoral College reform (resources to help get you started are linked to below). Discuss what you learned with your group and, together, prepare a presentation for the class.

What other observations, reflections or questions do these sources inspire? Let us know!

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