This program is designed for our Scouts to become educated voters. Our Scouts are responsible citizens, and this program is designed to help to acquire knowledge about candidates and issues so they can be responsible voters in the future. Our Scouts can take part in the program before any election: President, Senate, House of Representatives, and for state and local elections.
Our Scouts need to know what the issues are and where candidates stand on them. Our Scouts use a variety of sources, such television news, internet news, political blogs, news-related magazines, the newspaper, TV commercials, and candidate debates. Part of research is analyzing the sources used in research and how accurate they are. For each article, news segment, or piece of information our Scouts receive about a candidate, they analyze it. Was the information about the candiate’s stand on issues, or was it about their looks, or other gossip about the candidate? Was the evaluation fair? Why did this particular research source offer the information that they did? What might their motivation be? Our Scouts determine which sources consistently provide nonpartisan, and accurate information, and which ones seem to be biased.
Our Scouts educate themselves on the issues and decide which ones are important to them. Our Scouts research the issues and go through the same process they did with the candidates, searching for resources which provide nonpartisan and accurate information.
Our Scouts gather this information and present it to their fellow Scouts, including what information they found from particular sources and whether they thought the information was helpful and accurate.
Analyzing Issues and Candidates
After our Scouts have gathered and analyzed all the information they can, they analyze each issue and decide where they personally stand on the issue based on information from a variety of sources. Our Scouts are encouraged to pay close attention to issues which affect them personally, such as legislation regarding children’s rights and safety. Our Scouts then compare their own position on issues to those of the candidates, including the candidate’s voting record if they previously held office.
Making a Decision
Based on all the information the Scout has gathered, they decide who they would vote for and why. While our Scouts may be too young to vote, by developing responsible voting habits, our Scouts build a habit which will serve them for a lifetime. Few adults put the effort into voting that our Scouts put into the Responsible Voting Program, and this program helps our Scouts act as exceptional voters when they are 18.