What are some of the historical and contemporary barriers to voting?

Select ONE of the following topics to answer for the Lesson Writing Assignment. The writing assignment should be a minimum of 500 words. You should find most of the information you need to complete the assignment in the chapter, but you are allowed to use outside sources as well (such as news articles or government websites). DO NOT simply copy the information word for word from your sources. If you use information directly from the textbook or another source, it should be cited and the properly formatted citation should be provided at the end of the assignment. All assignments will be analyzed with SafeAssign to identify possible plagiarism.

  1. Read Chapter 4, including “You Decide: Voices of Texas: Should the Tea Party Movement Launch a Third Party?” and write an essay answering the following questions:
  • What is the Tea Party? When were they created? What policy positions do they advocate?
  • Do you think the rise of the Tea Party has been beneficial for the Republican Party? Why or why not?
  • If you were advising the Tea Party on how to maximize its power and influence, would you tell Tea Party members to stay with the Republican Party or launch their own?
  • As an independent party could the Tea Party be competitive in a state like Texas? Why or why not?
  • Do you think that there should be more than two competitive political parties in the United States? Why or why not?
  1. Read Chapter 5 in the textbook, including “You Decide: Voices of Texas: Voter Identification Laws,” and write an essay answering the following questions:
  • What are some of the historical and contemporary barriers to voting?
  • What accounts for the low level of participation in Texas?
  • What are the arguments for and against voter identification laws? Should a student ID be an acceptable form of identification for voting?
  • What can be done to increase voter participation in the short term? In the long term?
  • Do you think lawmakers and election officials in Texas are open to adopting methods to increase turnout? Why or why not?
  1. Read Chapter 6 in the textbook, including “You Decide: Voices of Texas: Should Former Legislators be Lobbyists,” and write an essay answering the following questions:
  • How do lobbyists influence lawmakers?
  • What is the revolving door?
  • Should legislators have the right to profit from their relationships and experiences as a public servant after they retire?
  • Do you agree or disagree that former legislators lobbying their former colleagues is unethical? Why?
  • Should Texas enact laws to limit the ability of legislators to lobby? If so, what specific provision should Texas enact and why?
  • Would laws limiting the ability of legislators to lobby make government more respected and ethical?
  1. Read Chapter 7 in the textbook, including “You Decide: Voices of Texas: A Full-time or Part-time Legislature?” and write an essay answering the following questions:
  • How often does the Texas Legislature meet?
  • What are the common arguments for and against a full-time legislature?
  • Would a full-time legislature increase or decrease the possibility of corruption?
  • Does the gender and racial makeup of the Texas Legislature adequately represent the population of the state?
  • Would a different gender or racial makeup of the Texas Legislature influence the type of legislation passed?
  • What type of policies might get more focus if women were the majority in the Texas Legislature?
  • Would a full-time legislature contribute to more diversity in the Legislature? Why or why not?

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