The Constitution established the United States as a democratic republic. It is democratic because the people govern themselves, and it is a republic because the government’s power is derived from its people. This means that our government – federal, state, and local – is elected by the citizens.
Citizens vote for their government officials and these officials represent the concerns and ideas of the citizens in government. For example, your Governor is elected by the voters in your state. The Governor is in charge of the executive branch for your state.
Voting is one important way that we can participate in our democracy. In order to vote for President in a federal election, a citizen must be 18 or older.
Besides voting for officials, we also vote on issues. Voters may want to make changes to their community, such as building bigger schools or adding new roads. We can contact our government officials when we want to support or change a law.
Voting in an election and contacting our elected officials are two ways that Americans can participate in our democracy.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services "Participating in a Democracy"