Voting and Elections

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  • 1. Voting and Elections
  • 2.
    • Electorate- citizens eligible to vote
    • Mandate- a command, indicated by an electorate's votes, for the elected officials to carry out their platforms
    Did GWB have a mandate?
  • 3. Types of Elections
    • Primary Election- Election in which voters decide which of the candidates within a party will represent the party in the general election
    • Closed Primary- a primary election in which only a party’s registered voters are eligible to vote
    • Open Primary- a primary in which party members, independents and sometimes members of the other party are allowed to vote
    • (crossover voting- participation in the primary of a party with which the voter is not affiliated)
  • 4.  
  • 5.
    • Runoff primary- a second primary election between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes in the first primary
    • Raiding- an organized attempt by voters of one party to influence the primary results of the other party
    • Nonpartisan primary- a primary used to select candidates regardless of party affiliation
    • General Election- election in which voters decide with candidates will actually fill elective public offices
  • 6. Initiative, Referendum, Recall
  • 7.
    • Initiative- an election that allows citizens to propose legislation (as opposed to voting for candidates) and submit it to the state electorate for popular vote- need a certain number of signatures on petitions supporting the proposal
    • Referendum- an election whereby the state legislature submits proposed legislation to the state’s voters approval
    • Recall- voters can remove an incumbent from office by popular vote (very rare)
  • 8. Presidential Elections
    • State party organizations use several types of primary elections or caucuses to election national convention delegates:
    • Winner take all primary- candidate who wins the most votes in a state secures all of the state’s delegates (Democrats do not permit this, while GOP prefers this way)
    • Proportional representation primary- candidates who secure a threshold % of votes are awarded delegates in proportion to the number of popular votes won. (Democrats favor this system)- lengthens the primary race
    • Beauty Contest- serves as an indication of popular support for the conventions to consider as they choose actual delegates
    • Caucus- party members meet in small groups throughout a state to select the party’s delegates to the national convention
  • 9. Electoral College
  • 10.
    • Electoral College- representative so f each state who cast the final ballots that actually elect a president – was a result of a compromised between Framers who argued for selection of the president by the Congress, and those who favored selection by direct popular election.
    • Elector- member of the electoral college chosen by methods determined in each state
    • 1876,1888,2000- Popular vote winner did not win Electoral College
    • In 1824 John Quincy Adams received neither the popular vote nor the Electoral College vote and was appointed President by the House of Representatives.
  • 11. Congressional Races
    • Incumbency Advantage- already holding a public office (more $$, more free media)
    • Redistricting- Every 10 years, all congressional lines are redrawn- 435 seats
    • Gerrymandering- legislative process through which the majority party in each statehouse tries to assure that the maximum number of representatives from its political party can be elected to congress through the redrawing of legislative districts
    • Mid term elections- take place in the middle of a presidential term
  • 12. Voter Turnout
    • Turnout- the proportion of the voting age public that votes
    • Education- people who vote are usually more educated than nonvoters
    • Income- people who vote tend to have a higher income than nonvoters
    • Age- voters tend to be older than 30
    • Race and Ethnicity- Whites tend to vote more than do African Americans
    • South has a lower turnout than the rest of the country
  • 13. Why don’t people vote?
  • 14.
    • Too Busy
    • Difficulty of Registrations- those who register are more likely to vote
    • Out of town – difficulty of absentee voting
    • Not interested
    • Illness or emergency
    • Forgot
    • Transportation problem
    • Bad weather
    • Refused
    • Didn’t like the candidates