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I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballot

Presidential Election Process for Homeschool with FREE Printable Ballot

I have voted in every single election...whether big or small...for the past 19 years. I've served in various capacities for the party that I most identify with. I've written letters to the editor and letters to my local and state officials regarding my stance on impending legislation. I've done all the duties afforded to me in a democracy. But, I'm not a political zealot. I actually think that the political system, however conservative or not, can never really change a nation. It is GOD who moves change. Period. Because here's the thing about politics, folks, Scripture reminds us in Daniel 2:21 that it is GOD who sets up or tears down kings. Not us.

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As a Christian, my citizenship is first and foremost to heaven, not America. All that being said, I am so very thankful for the freedom I have to cast my vote and let my voice be heard. I am grateful to live in a country that grants its people democracy.

I want my children to understand and appreciate that liberty. I want them to recognize the gravity that a single vote can have. I want them to be educated on policies and candidates so that when the time comes for each of them to give a YES to any particular person or legislation, they can do so with boldness. 

Four years ago, I put together a mock election, complete with campaign slogans, primary and general voting rounds, and electoral college votes. This election season has been no different. I hosted a mock election at our homeschool co-op to decide what deli meat (president) and cheese (running mate) would be served on our sandwiches at lunch.

And here's a peek...

Primary Election

After reading Today on Election Day and discussing some of the key terms and basic timetable of the election process, I divided the group into two different parties, the "I Need Food in My Belly" party and the "I'm So Hungry I Could Eat a Horse" party.

For the sake of having a primary election, I divided each party into three smaller groups.

I displayed six different luncheon meat choices and allowed each of the six groups (three groups in each party) to select one of the meats.

Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballots

Meat choices were as follows:
  • ham
  • turkey
  • chicken
  • roast beef
  • salami
  • hotdogs 

Then, each small group discussed an advertising plan for their particular meat choice. The parties held a "convention" to talk about and rally for each of their three meat choices. Each small group got to campaign for their particular meat choice in hopes of winning votes within the party. (It was interesting to hear their reasons for why one meat choice would be better than all the others. I heard things like, "We always have ham. It's time for a change," and "Turkey is a healthier option.")

Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballots

After the "conventions," it was time to vote.

Primary elections were held within each party using these primary election ballot printables. The rules were simple. You could NOT vote for the meat choice that your small group had chosen. You had to vote for one of the other two meat choices on your party's ballot. This helped to ensure a fair and measured vote.

Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballots

The results were quite close, but the victors were announced.

Put Food in My Belly Party- turkey
I'm So Hungry I Could Eat a Horse Party- ham
Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballots

It was then time to select running mates. I set out four different kinds of cheeses and allowed each party to choose one of them to pair with their meat choice. I reminded them NOT to choose their favorite cheese, but instead to choose one that would compliment the meat. We had a short discussion on how presidential candidates usually consider running mates that have gifts, talents, and experiences that compliment their own on a ballot.

The final party tickets were as follows:

Put Food in My Belly Party- turkey and provolone
I'm So Hungry I Could Eat a Horse Party- ham and colby jack 

General Election

Once each party had declared their election team, I swooped in and formed an independent party of salami and cheddar without any discussion from the rest of the group. I was dissatisfied with the other two choices and thought our lunch time needed more variety. This was slightly upsetting to the some of the kids as they did not think it was fair to split the voting potential, giving them a glimpse of a true election season.

Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballots

I plastered these three choices on Facebook and Instagram and asked loyal readers to cast their vote in a popular election.

Then it was on to a more difficult topic...the electoral college.
After watching the following video about how and why we use the electoral college, I divided the entire co-op into electoral college teams. 



Each team was assigned a particular region of the United States and asked to represent that area in a electoral vote. The regions were as follows:

  • Northwest (including Alaska)
  • Southwest (including Hawaii)
  • Midwest
  • Northeast
  • Southeast
Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballots

Teams were each handed a tally sheet to keep track of votes from their assigned region.

And then we waited.

Not surprising, the awesome readers of The Unlikely Homeschool came through. Each regional team tallied the votes from social media then cast his/her electoral vote in the general election for the meat/cheese combo that represented the opinions of his/her assigned region using this general 
election ballot printable

Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballots

In a random twist, the independent candidate, salami and cheddar, took the win by a very small margin. 

By the end of the morning, the kids not only got a great education in the election process, but also got to experience first-hand how an election can polarize two groups of people. We were all surprised to see how very emotionally stirring an election can be and how voters can be swayed through well-thought out campaign slogans and the volatile emotional climate of a group. The meat that was originally projected to be the sure-fire win ended up not even being selected in the primary election due to the smooth talking contributions of a few of the campaigners, but eventually pulled ahead and took the win as the independent candidate. The race was quite heated and dramatic...perhaps a foreshadowing of the national elections to come.

Presidential Election Resources with FREE Printable Ballots


Election Books

See How They Run
Today on Election Day

To view all these books and more, head to my Presidential Elections list.

Other Election Resources

School House Rock: Electoral College



What is a Primary Election?



US Presidential Election 2016/2017 Easily Explained



The Oddities of the First Presidential Election



The History of U.S. Elections (1964-2016)



If I Were President...- free printable notebooking page

All About President...-free printable notebooking page

Homeschool Government Pinterest Board

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