IS VOTER SUPPRESSION REAL?
You’re the youngest volunteer in your local Congressperson’s re-election campaign. And you’re so proud of it. While other kids are spending lots of time on video games and social media, you’re helping to shape the country’s government. That’s great stuff for a 7th grader!
Lately you’ve been hearing in the news about something called “voter suppression.” Voter suppression is when someone – usually a politician or political party – tries to prevent certain groups of people from voting even when they should be eligible to vote. Politicians might get involved in voter suppression because they think that certain voters are likely to vote against them. You’ve heard your Dad talking about voter suppression. “Voter suppression isn’t real,” he said, “It’s just an excuse someone makes when their side loses an election.” You respect your Dad’s ideas so you’ve figured he must be right about this issue… until today.
While you were at the campaign office, you overheard some of the adult volunteers talking about voter suppression. “Our opponents are doing everything they can to lower the number of African Americans who will vote in this election.” Later you told the volunteer that you didn’t think voter suppression was real. “Well,” she said, “this might be part of your education here.”
Investigate the primary sources to learn about groups that have had to fight for their right to vote. Is there evidence to show that they had to fight against voter suppression once they’d achieved the right to vote? Make your case.
Have your students take this challenge and make their case! To begin, send your students to this website with this challenge’s code.
Voter suppression is when someone - usually a politician or political party - tries to prevent certain groups of people from voting even when they should be eligible to vote.