Election Process Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Crystal Ladwig
Have you ever noticed signs in yards and businesses asking people to vote for a particular person or issue? Maybe you've even see people on street corners waving and holding these signs. Read on to find out what that's all about.

Why We Vote

An amazing thing happens in the United States. It's a freedom and a right that people in some other countries only dream of. Every eligible adult gets to vote if they want to. But how and why does this happen?

An election is the process in which voters choose people to serve in the government. There are many decisions that elected officials make every day. Voters don't all have time to learn about and vote on every issue, so they choose representatives to do this for them. These representatives work for the people who elect them in local communities, states, and even at the national level.

Elected officials at the local level (like a mayor, council member, or school board member) make decisions about a community, such as when school will start and stop each year, and how much money the police department needs.

Elected state leaders like a governor or member of the state legislature make important decisions about laws in each state and how they will be implemented, members of Congress and the president do this for us at the national level.

With so many leaders at different levels, it's incredibly important that people vote for the ones they believe will be the best for the community, state, and nation.

President Obama votes.
President Obama Votes

Who to Vote For

Candidates, people who want to be elected for a specific job, have to let their community know what job they want, what they believe, and why they think people should vote for them. This process is called campaigning.

In a campaign, candidates spend months talking to potential voters, participating in debates where they argue issues with other candidates trying to get elected to the same position, and advertising for themselves (and sometimes against their opponent). Voters have the responsibility to use this process to learn about each candidate and select the one they think is best for each office or government job.

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