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2021 Elections in Your State and Beyond

Introduction:

Tuesday, November 2nd was Election Day. This was what is called an “off year,” or an election where there is neither a presidential election nor midterm congressional elections. So, what officials are up for election in your state, and what role do they play in your government?

 

Handouts:

Handout A: U.S. Constitution

 

Directions:

Have students read the first paragraph of Article 1, Section 4. Lead a short discussion about the meaning of this portion of the Constitution, and what role states play in our system of elections. Why does the Constitution give states this power in federal elections? Why do states have the power to create their own elections for state offices

Then split them into equal groups of 4-6 depending on class size. Each group should research and come up with answers for the following. Ballotpedia’s website is a good starting point. Students should share their responses once all research is finished.

  1. What offices were up for election in your state this year?
  2. What offices are up for election in your state next year?
  3. Select a bordering state. How do the elections over these two years compare to the elections in this state?
  4. Why do you think these differences exist?
  5. How might these different election cycles reflect differences in state governments?
  6. Why do you think the Constitution left the determination of elections and state governments up to the states?