Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You

Chapter 10: Voting and Elections

Student Web Activity

"Paying for Election Campaigns"

In this chapter you have read about the importance of voting and the many types of elections held in the United States. No matter what level of government, an election campaign takes money. Today millions of dollars are spent on presidential elections. Where does all of that money come from? Are there any limits on how people make contributions to election campaigns? In this activity you’ll learn about the role of the Federal Election Commission.

Destination Title: Federal Election Commission

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
Need help using your browser for this activity? Click here for tips.

Start at the FEC home page.

  • Click on About the FEC.
  • Click on The FEC and the Federal Election Campaign Act.
  • From this screen, click on and read Historical Background, Contribution Limits, and Prohibited Contributions and Expenditures.

After exploring these topics, use what you have learned to answer the following questions.

Who was the first president to recognize the need for campaign finance reform?
What changes in finance law did Congress make in 1974?
When was the first publicly funded presidential election?
How much money may an individual give to a candidate? To a national party? To other political action committees?
What do you think about campaign finance reform? Write a letter to the editor expressing your opinion on campaign finance reform. Do we have enough? Should there be more? What are the problems associated with large donors to election campaigns?
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