Beginning in early October, the Voice of Democracy class followed eight midterm Senate elections. The assignment was to “go to the candidates’ official Twitter accounts and official websites… [and] get information on their views,” according to class member Claire Kristof.
The project, assigned by history teacher Kathleen Tundermann, allowed students to delve into the intricacies of the modern election process.
“[I’ve learned] the importance of getting involved,” Kristof continued. “I’m 17 so I’m not at the age of being able to vote— I’m not usually aware of political happenings. It’s good to know what’s going on and to get up to speed.”
Students also were taught to navigate through possibly inaccurate information.
“A lot of different newspaper and news sources are constantly updating polls of who they think is going to win. You technically can’t tell if the poll is accurate because a lot of people are submitting their polls and some people are undecided… it’s hard to know what’s accurate and what’s not accurate,” said Kristof.
The class Twitter account is managed by the students and regularly updates followers on the progress of the candidates.
With the social media component, students have not only been able to follow their candidates, but also interact with them. Kristof commented, “Some of the campaign managers and campaigners have been following us back.”
The students compiled all of their data from their respective races into an infographic, shown below: