Elections, voting, and voter behaviorPresentation Transcript
Elections, Voting, and Voter Behavior
Outline Nominating Candidates Caucuses & Conventions Primary Elections Petition Nominating Presidential Candidates Elections and Campaigns Regulating Elections Financing Elections Hard & Soft Money Presidential Elections Voting Rights and Voting Laws History Laws Voter Behavior Influences on Voting Decisions Voters and Nonvoters
Nominating Candidates Nominate: select a candidate to run for office 4 methods for being on the ballot: Caucus Convention Direct primary petition
The Caucus & Convention Caucus: party leaders meet and decide who will run for office Nominating convention: public meeting of party members to choose candidates Party bosses: influential party leaders
Primary Election Direct primary election: several candidates from the same party run against each other for the nomination Two types of primary: Closed primary: limited to registered members of political parties Open primary: any registered voter
Nomination by Petition Petition: piece of paper that states a person wishes to run for office, a number of signatures is required to be considered. The more important the office, the more signatures needed
2008 Presidential Primaries General Election
Elections & Campaigns Right to vote=basic to democracy Election Day Regulating Elections: State v. Federal laws Election dates (1st Tuesday, following the 1st Monday in November) Help America Vote Act (2002)
Financing Elections Campaigns require lots of money: Offices Campaign workers Advertisements Websites Where does the money come from? Private donors (expect favors) Public money ($3 contribution on income tax)
Campaign Finance Laws Political Action Committee (PAC): a political organization formed by special interest groups such as companies and labor and professional organizations. Examples: National Rifle Association (NRA), The American Medical Association (AMA), etc.
Hard & Soft Money Hard Money Regulated by laws Money raised and spent by candidate themselves Soft Money No real laws Money raised and spent on “party building” activities 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act: The goal was to ban soft money, however, the result was that by the 2004 election, politicians had found a loophole by setting up Section 527 organizations. Much like PACs except these groups were not regulated.
Presidential Elections Electoral College January 6th (Congress counts votes) Election night news coverage Popular vote: total number of votes cast by citizens Electoral vote: number of votes that states have in the electoral college
Electoral College Map
Voting Rights African Americans were not considered citizens until 1868 Women couldn’t vote until 1920 Native Americans were not granted citizenship until 1924 Youth vote was extended in 1971 Suffragist: people who supported the right to vote for women
Voting Rights Laws Law Fifteenth Amendment Voting Rights Act of 1965 Twenty Fourth Amendment Interference Grandfather clause Literacy test Poll tax
Voter Behavior Registered Voters Why do some citizens vote in every election and some never vote?
Voter Generalizations Democratic
High school graduates
Women (slightly more)
Suburbs, rural areas
Straight-ticket voting: voting only for a party’s candidates
Voters & Nonvoters Voters College graduates Higher income Over 45 64+ highest voting rates Women more than men Married people Don’t move around Religious attendees Nonvoters High School graduates or less Low income Youth Single people People who move around Political efficacy: the idea that a person can influence government by voting.
Why don’t people vote? Don’t meet residency requirements Never registered Feel little will change Happy with the status-quo No sense of political efficacy Average nonvoter= male, under 35, single, low level of education, works at unskilled jobs