From the CRLT Blog

Structuring Classroom Discussions About Elections

October 11, 2022
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voting stickers

This midterm election season brings an important opportunity for students and instructors to connect classroom learning to the value of civic engagement. Developments in law and politics at the national level have highlighted the particular importance of state and local civic engagement.

The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching works with instructors to think through approaches to incorporating discussion of the midterm election and its links to civic engagement into their courses, as well as strategies for responding in the moment when these issues arise.

Encouraging students to engage in the US democratic process is a non-partisan activity

This post shares highlights from resources curated for faculty and staff to not only encourage voter engagement, but also to support the development of students’ habits of democracy before and after the upcoming election. Regardless of citizenship status, domestic and international students benefit from understanding how democracy works.

Key dates for the 2022 Midterm Elections

  • September 27: UMMA Satellite Clerk's Office opens
  • September 29: Absentee ballots become available
  • October 12: Duderstadt Gallery Satellite Clerk's Office opens
  • After October 24, students need to register to vote in person WITH proof of residency at a Secretary of State branch or with the local clerk. 
  • Election Day is November 8, 2022 (For U.S. local, state and federal)
  • Additional voter information available at

Increase voter registration and turnout by encouraging students to vote

Studies show that encouragement from faculty, staff, and other students makes a significant difference to student registration and turnout (Bennion and Nickerson, 2016; DellaVigna, List, Malmendier & Rao, 2016; Gerber and Rogers, 2009). Here are some simple ways you can encourage students to vote in your class:

Connect your discipline and course content to policy issues

Helping students draw connections between policy or legislation and course content, disciplinary questions, and field-related priorities is critical for educating students about the role we all play in shaping the communities we live in, both while at University of Michigan and in the future.  

Encourage students to explore different pathways to civic engagement 

CRLT consultants are available to talk with any instructor about implementing these resources, planning courses or class sessions, or responding to difficult moments if they arise. You can make an appointment through CRLT’s website.