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Interactive video lesson plan for: Primary elections are surprisingly new. Here's where they came from.

Activity overview:

Primary voters used to be powerless. That all changed in 1968.

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Right now, presidential candidates are crisscrossing the country, begging primary voters for their support. But it's easy to forget that not too long ago, these voters had no say in whom their party nominated for president.

In the nation's early days, members of Congress picked their party's nominee. And for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, party bosses told delegates at the convention which candidate to support, and everybody else found out in the papers and on TV.

But everything changed after the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Watch our video to see why.

Check back next week to find out why we have the weird primary schedule that basically disenfranchises millions.

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Tagged under: politics,presidential election,primaries,2016,democrats,republicans,1968 democratic convention,voting,presidential primaries

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