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Democracy and Debate / Election 101: A Non-Partisan Primer

Election 2020: A Non-Partisan Primer

This short video introduces a set of non-partisan resources created by the Ginsberg Center to support your participation in the 2020 election.


Whether you’re a seasoned voter, preparing to vote in your first election, or an international student or scholar at UM, you can play an important role in the 2020 elections coming up on November 3rd. To support you in that cause, we have developed a series of short slide presentations to provide you with an overview of key election-related concepts and issues, what to expect on and after election day, and how you can participate. These brief slide decks are just a start, and we hope you’ll seek out accurate, trustworthy, and balanced information and resources to continue to your education about democracy and voting in the U.S. and around the globe. The slide decks, which can work together or be used individually, cover the following topics: 2020 Election Basics, Covering key roles of local, state, and federal governments, important terminology, and information about how presidential elections typically work. Historical Context, information about past presidential elections that weren’t straightforward, or when the results took a while. Election Concerns, which highlights information about some complications and concerns for the 2020 election, including COVID-19, disinformation, and other potential threats to democracy. Your Voting & Engagement Plan, which provides guidance for casting your ballot and information on other avenues to be civically engaged 2020 Voting, Information on who’s voting and how in the 2020 election Free Speech at the University of Michigan, An overview of the bedrock principle of free speech in our public institution, which ensures a marketplace of diverse viewpoints while honoring students' rights and agency to express their opinions, ideas and needs. Review & Resources, a collection of helpful resources so you can dig deeper on the issues you care about. We hope you’ll explore these presentations and, as importantly, that you participate in this election in every way you can. As Barbara Jordan, politician and civil rights leader said, “The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport.”