Background and Context

These resources are designed to help students develop a thorough understanding of the topic of Government & Elections; and help students make connections between historical eventscurrent conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue of Government & Elections. 

 

Current Issue Debates

Current Issues Debates highlight current policy issues featured in the news. Issues are framed by a central question, historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions. These concise resources allow students to move quickly from reading to discussing and debating the issue. 

 

Lesson Plans

Our lesson plans are designed to promote civil discourse and empathy for diverse perspectives. Based on the proven instructional techniques that Close Up uses with students on program, these lesson plans are ideal for teachers who want to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. 

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Government & Elections

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The Georgia Election Law—Election Security or Voter Suppression?

Post | April 23, 2021

On April 3, 2021, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021. This new voting law enacts sweeping changes to Georgia’s election system which could have significant implications for the outcome of future elections. Republicans in Georgia and across the United States have hailed the law as a vital and necessary reform […]


Andrew Harnik Press Pool

Women: A Majority in the United States, A Minority in U.S. Government

Post | March 29, 2021

The year 2021 has already been a ground-breaking one for women in national politics. Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman and person of color to hold the office, the 117th Congress includes the largest number of female members in U.S. history, and President Joe Biden’s cabinet will ultimately include 11 women, setting a […]


student-protests-26th-amendment

The 50th Anniversary of the 26th Amendment

Post | March 22, 2021

Congress passed the 26th Amendment in March 1971; it was ratified by the states and signed by President Richard Nixon by July of that same year.1 The amendment lowered the voting age to 18. It reads: Section 1 The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to […]


Restoring Confidence or Destroying Democracy? The Fight Over Access to the Ballot

Post | March 8, 2021

The past several election cycles have seen high-stakes fights over access to the ballot and the rules that govern elections. In 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated provisions of the Voting Rights Act, thus making it easier for states to change their voting laws.1 In the years since, conservatives in Congress and in state legislatures have […]


Historic Second Impeachment, Part Two: Questions of Crime and Punishment

Post | February 8, 2021

This week, the Senate commences an historic second trial of former President Donald Trump, stemming from his actions pertaining to the January 6 Capitol riot.1 Against a backdrop of heightened security, threats made against members of Congress,2 and tensions within the Republican Party,3 senators must determine President Trump’s innocence or guilt, as well as what […]


Inside the President’s First 100 Days – How does a new administration set their priorities?

Videos | January 29, 2021

During this Close Up Conversations webinar, Close Up’s, Mia Charity, discusses the Presidents first 100 days in office, with Gregg Rothschild, Partner at Finsbury Glover Hering.


Norms, Rules, and Tradition

Post | December 15, 2020

As journalists, historians, and political commentators reflect on the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump, one word keeps coming up: norms. To his critics, this is cause for concern. But President Trump’s supporters sometimes see his norm-breaking actions as efforts to change the political culture of Washington. Here, we will offer definitions and examples of […]


A Bumpy Transition: Where Do We Go From Here?

Post | November 17, 2020

On Saturday, November 7, most major media outlets declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election.1 While the Biden team has already begun its informal transition, it has not yet been granted access to intelligence briefings, office space, or other elements of a formal transition.2 This formal transition cannot happen until the General […]


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