By offering schools an online election platform and a comprehensive curriculum, First Vote helps teachers bridge the gap between what students are learning in civics class and how they translate that information into meaningful application in the real world.
First Vote NC offers an experience that will truly impact students with a lesson they will carry forward for the rest of their lives.
Traditional and charter high schools across North Carolina can sign up to participate in the 2017 local election simulation. The first person to register becomes the representative for that school. No official duties –just need to attach one name to each school!
Teachers are given access to relevant, comprehensive, North-Carolina-specific and standards-aligned lesson plans. There are seventeen different lessons that address different aspects of the process and each can be easily adapted to fit different time frames. Four of the lesson plans specifically tackle local elections.
The entire student body is asked to participate in the election. Early voting polls open two weeks prior to the November 7th election. Students are able to vote on laptops, tablets or smart phones. We encourage schools to utilize the lesson plan that details how the election can be student-led. The platform includes:
- A realistic ballot that is specific to the precinct of the student voter.
- Issue-based questions that address community concerns.
- Exit poll survey that puts student results in the context of demographic information.
- A customizable feature that allows teachers to include other questions on the ballot that may be more specific to their school or community.
After the polls close, the precinct results are calculated. When the students arrive at school the next day, they will have access to all of the election data. This data will serve as the springboard for analysis by students in the Civics and Economics course and could also be used in math classes. Part of the curriculum includes utilizing the results of the issue-based questions to share with local elected officials the attitudes and opinions of future voters in their community.