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The electoral college

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  • 1. HOW WE ELECT OUR PRESIDENT DOES YOUR VOTE COUNT?? The Electoral College
  • 2. Process of electing your President
    • Can be complicated, but is extremely important
    • Founders didn’t trust the average voter- did not want a direct election - wanted Pres to be voted by elite
      • Also small/large states balance
    • Formed electoral college with electors
    • Many citizens were turned off after the 2000 election (candidate with the most votes didn’t become President- do votes even count?)
    • Electing the President clip
  • 3.  
  • 4.  
  • 5.  
  • 6.
    • 1. Popular vote- vote of the people
    • 2. Electoral college meets to cast votes (votes for who wins in their state)
    • If no candidate gets a majority, the House votes
  • 7. E.C. Basics
    • Article II (the Executive Branch) covers the process for electing the President & VP.
    • The number of E.C. votes a state has is determined by adding the number of Senators & Representatives .
    • Therefore…
  • 8. E.C. Basics
    • What is the fewest number of Electoral Votes a state could have?
    • Three—Each state has at least one Representative and two Senators.
    • Doing some quick math…
  • 9. E.C. Basics
    • Therefore, the states with small populations are only going to have three E.C. votes .
    • Random: the states with three votes are
    • Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming
  • 10. E.C. Basics
    • In contrast, the states with large populations have a large chunk of E.C. votes and therefore get a ton of attention, especially if they are thought to be a “toss up” state.
    • Random II : the ten states with the most E.C. votes are (in order) California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan , Georgia & North Carolina .
  • 11. E.C. Basics
    • On election day, a candidate concentrates on how he/she does within each state , not the nation overall.
    • In other words, candidates worry about winning individual states (like the toss ups and the states in which their party always does well).
  • 12. E.C. Basics
    • There are 538 Electoral Votes total.
    • House of Reps= 435
    • US Senators= 100
    • + Washington DC 3
    • (Thanks to the 23 rd Amendment,
    • as they have no reps in Congress)
    • _____________
    • Total 538
  • 13. E.C. Basics
    • In order to win an election, a candidate needs at least 270 E.C. votes.
    • ½(538)=269, so 270 is one more than half.
  • 14. Before Election Day
    • Each party that appears on each state’s ballot submits a list of potential Electoral College voters who will cast a ballot if their party wins the state.
    • Who are these people? Donors, workers, party VIPs
  • 15. After Election Day
    • When each state’s popular vote winner is declared, the submitted list of E.C. voters will go to each state capitol to officially cast their ballots.
    • Each state’s popular vote winner gets ALL of that state’s E.C. votes. The system is “winner take all.”
    • This hurts third parties’ chances!
  • 16. After Election Day
    • Overly simplistic example:
    • On election day, 11 Michiganders vote.
    • Six vote for the Republican candidate & five vote for the Democrat .
    • Because the Electoral College is winner take all, the Republican wins ALL 17 E.C. votes from Michigan.
    • What if there was a 3 rd party?
  • 17. Interesting E.C. Scenario #1
    • I know the 1 st thing that just popped into your head:
    • “ What happens if no candidate gets 270 Electoral Votes?”
    • The House of Reps decides the election. Each state would get one vote to determine the president. This occurred in 1800 (Jefferson vs. Burr) and 1824 (J.Q. Adams vs. Jackson—the Corrupt Bargain!!)
  • 18. Interesting E.C. Scenario #2
    • I know the 2 nd thing that just popped into your head:
    • “ Can a candidate win the popular vote & still lose the election? How is this possible?”
    • A candidate can win the popular vote & still lose overall if he/she does not win the right states. The national popular vote does not matter . This happened four times: 1824, 1876 (Hayes vs. Tilden), 1888 (Harrison vs. Cleveland) & 2000 (Bush vs. Gore).
  • 19. Other crazy E.C. stuff
    • Two states (Maine & Nebraska) vote by congressional district instead of winner-take-all.
    • About half of the states require by law that the E.C. Voters cast their ballots to match that state’s popular vote. Therefore, there are half of the states that don’t have such a law.
    • Add up the E.C. votes for the top ten states. Guess what number you get?
  • 20.
    • 2 7 0 !
    • EC Clip
  • 21. Alternatives
    • Over 700 changes have been proposed
    • Nebraska/Maine
      • Assign one elector to the winner of the Congressional district, and two remaining electors to the candidate with the most votes statewide
      • More fair than winner-take-all?
    • Popular Vote
      • People not educated
      • How much power should small/large states have?
  • 22. Checks on Presidential power
    • Founders built in checks and balances
    • Congressional Limitations-
      • Congress can override a veto
      • Congress- power of the purse (controls funding)
      • Impeachment
      • Senate must approve appointments
  • 23. Checks on Presidential Power
    • Judicial checks
        • Supreme Court reviews Prez’s actions
        • Sets limits on executive privilege (Court demanded Nixon turn tapes in, Clinton argued he should be immune from lawsuits)
    • Political limitations
      • Public opinion, media
  • 24. WORKERS OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH The Bureaucracy
  • 25. What is Bureaucracy? – Chapter 19
    • General definition:
      • An organization that is structure in a pyramid fashion an in which everybody (except the person at the top) reports to at least one other person
  • 26. Executive-Level Departments—pp.506-507
    • The Cabinet
    • Independent Agencies
      • The Regulatory Agencies
      • Independent Executive Agencies
    • Government Corporations
  • 27. The Cabinet
    • 15 Departments
    • Headed by Secretary (except for Justice Department)
    • Secretaries appointed by President with consent of the Senate
    • Manage policy areas & report to President
  • 28. The Independent Executive Agencies
    • Not part of any cabinet department
    • Are under the President’s control, though the President’s attention increases/decreases along with the issue’s visibility.
    • Examples: CIA, GSA, National Science Foundation, FEC, Small Business Admin., NASA
    The General Services Administration monitors government spending
  • 29. The Independent Regulatory Agencies
    • “ Regulate private activity and protect the public interest.” (511)
    • Creates rules=“Quasi-legislative”
      • act just like a legislative bodies when issuing policies, which have the effect of law.
    • Quasi-judicial
      • act like a judge when enforcing penalties for violating regulations
  • 30. The Independent Regulatory Agencies (cont.)
    • Some Examples:
    • Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)
    • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
    • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
    • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
    • Federal Reserve Bank
  • 31. Government Corporations
    • Businesses owned by the federal government because they would be too inefficient for private industry to manage
    • Rare in a capitalist system (we avoid too much government interference when possible)
    • Examples:
      • AMTRAK
      • USPS
      • FDIC
      • TVA