The NSDL has pulled together some classroom resources for teaching about voting and polls, voting technology, and the history of voting. These are taken from the NSDL Expert Voices blog.
Multiple polls claim to know how public opinion shifts day-to-day during political campaigns. This web site offers a ficticious look into an election campaign at the math behind the polls. Concepts such as random sampling, margin of error, confidence intervals, and ways in which surveys can go wrong are reviewed.
Understanding national election results is complicated. This classroom activity helps students think carefully about how percentages are used mathematically to determine voting outcomes. The importance of understanding the meaning of percentages in media and marketing is also noted.
The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed that prohibited racial discrimination in voting was passed in 1870. The Voting Rights Act, however, was not signed into law until 1965. Find out what happened in the nearly one hundred years between 1870 and 1965 to ensure that everyone has the right to vote in this multimedia resource from Teacher’s Domain.
The goal in presenting this case based on controversies surrounding the November 2000 presidential election, specifically the difficulties encountered in interpreting imperfectly punched ballots, is to help college-level students recognize how engineering solutions can be brought to bear in solving problems of national importance.