Research Links and Critical Thinking Questions for October 2020 Topics


Issue 1: Electoral College
The Federalist Papers: No. 68 by Alexander Hamilton          “The Electoral College: How It Works Today”           “Electoral College Fast Facts”                           
Heritage Foundation: “The Electoral College: Enlightened Democracy                   
League of Women Voters: “Who Will Elect the President? Electoral College System” “The Case for Dumping the Electoral College”              
Issue 2: 2020 Election One-Stop Voting Information Site                          
Pew Research: “Election 2020”                        “Presidential Election 2020”               “2020 Presidential Election Interactive Map”      “2020 Presidential Election Site”                       
NYT: “2020 Presidential Election Calendar”                               


Issue 1: Electoral College

  1. Read Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 68 (link above). Has the Electoral College system worked out the way Hamilton originally envisioned it?
  2. Is the Electoral College a good way of ensuring each voter is represented equally? If not, do you think it is important that each vote person’s vote count equally?
  3. Do you think the founders’ reasons for establishing the Electoral College system are still relevant today? Why or why not?
  4. What is the difference between a democracy and a republic? Why did the Founders dislike democratic systems? Why did they believe republican forms of government were superior?
  5. Do you think the Electoral College still functions well in the present day? Why or why not?

Issue 2: 2020 Election

  1. What is the relationship between voting and democracy?
  2. What information is essential for voters to make an informed decision about candidates?
  3. Why does campaign spending matter? What rules should exist, if any, about the claims and accusations of political campaigns?
  4. After reading the candidates’ positions on the issues, which issues are the most important to you and why?
  5. In your opinion, what are the qualities of a great leader in any political context?