Chapter 6 voter behavior

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U.S. Government
Voter Behavior

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Chapter 6 voter behavior

  1. 1.  Suffrage- the right to vote › Framers of the Constitution purposely left the power to set suffrage qualifications to each State. › Amendment X- Powers reserved to the States
  2. 2.  Electorate- the potential voting population; those able to vote › Some 210 million Americans are qualified to vote › American citizen, 18 years of age The long road toward American suffrage has been marked by two major trends… 1. Gradual elimination of restrictions on voting rights 2. Transfer of power from State Governments to the Federal Government
  3. 3. Five factors that voting restrictions havefallen under in American history:1. Religious belief2. Property ownership3. Tax payment4. Race5. SexWe’ll see thesecontinue to effectAmerican votes today
  4. 4. 1. Religious qualifications quickly disappeared by 1800. › No State has had a religious test since 1810 States began to eliminate property ownership and tax payment requirements › By 1830-40s, nearly all white-American adult males could vote in every State
  5. 5. 2. Following the Civil War, Federal government amends the U.S. Constitution to hold the 15th Amendment › Ratified in 1870, protected any citizen from being denied the right to vote because of race.
  6. 6. 3. Early 20th century- Voting rights for all sexes › 19th Amendment prohibited the denial of the right to vote because of sex › Ratified in 1920 › Executive Power- enforced by the central government
  7. 7. 4. 1960s- Ensuring the right to vote to African Americans in ALL States › Passage of federal legislation and court decisions  23rd Amendment (1961) added the voters of Washington D.C.  24th Amendment (1964) eliminated the poll tax  Voting Rights Act of 1965- civil rights act that helped solidify racial equality in the voting booths
  8. 8.  Most recent expansions in electorate suffrage comes with the adoption of › 26th Amendment- No State can set a minimum age for voting at more than 18 years of age › Ratified 1971
  9. 9. Every State requires that any person whowants to vote must:1. Have citizenship2. Have residence3. Be of age States have found ways to bypass or bend the rules of the first 2 requirements.
  10. 10.  Aliens- foreign born residents who have not become citizens › Generally denied the right to vote › HOWEVER, it is not expressed in the Constitution Historically, western States allowed aliens to vote (to attract settlers) 1926- Arkansas is the last State to illegalize voting rights to aliens in federal elections.
  11. 11.  One must be a legal resident of the State he/she wishes to cast their ballot 1. To keep a political machine (interest group) from importing out-of-staters to vote in local & State elections 2. To allow new voters some time to become familiar with the candidates/issues of their State Voting Rights Act (1970)- Congress banned any requirement of longer than 30 days for voting in presidential elections
  12. 12.  Dunn v. Blumstein- 1972, a Supreme Court case that found Tennessee’s requirements were unconstitutional › 90 day residency in country › 1 year residency in State Transients- persons living in a State for only a short time › Out-of-State salesman, armed service member, or college students may find it difficult to vote while travelling
  13. 13.  30-day residency requirement › Must live in-State for thirty days › Live in a specific county 30-day registration requirement › Registration deadline is 30 days before the upcoming election
  14. 14.  26th Amendment (1971)- declared that no State may set a minimum age for voting in ANY election at more than 18 years of age Before the 26th Amendment, the generally accepted voting age was 21 and up › Only four States had a set voting age of lower than 21 before 1970.  Georgia, Kentucky, Alaska, and Hawaii Vietnam War:“Old enough to fight,old enough to vote”
  15. 15.  Montana was the 8th state to ratify the 26th Amendment › March 29, 1971 › Congress proposed the Amendment on March 23, 1971 Voting turnout in Montana is usually always higher than the national average General Election Montana Voting National Voter (Year) turnout (%) Turnout (%) 2004 71.4 55.3 2008 74.5 56.8
  16. 16.  A procedure of voter identification intended to prevent fraudulent voting. › Every state, except North Dakota, requires voter registration › N.D. was one of the first States to adopt voter registration, but abolished it in 1951because of its small precincts
  17. 17.  Type of electoral fraud that occurs when the name of a deceased person remains on a state’s official list of registered voters and a living person fraudulently casts a ballot in that name. 1982- Gubernatorial election in Illinois estimated that as many as 1 in 10 ballots cast during the election were fraudulent, including votes by the dead. › Same can be said in the 1960 election
  18. 18.  Purging- State law directs local election officials to review the lists of registered voters and to remove those names no longer eligible › Usually happens every 2 to 4 years Poll Books- Lists of all the registered voters in each precinct › The “Death Master Files”
  19. 19.  A person’s ability to read or write. › A device used to keep African Americans from voting in parts of the South  Used to keep Native Americans from voting in the West and Southwest
  20. 20.  Poll Tax- the payment of a special tax, as a condition for voting 1889- Florida is the first of 11 Southern States to initiate these poll taxes › Used to discourage African Americans from voting › 1966- the poll tax was still used in 4 southern states 24th Amendment (1964)- outlawed the poll tax, or any other tax in federal elections
  21. 21.  Gerrymandering- the practice of drawing electoral district lines in order to limit the voting strength of a particular party or group. › District lines are the boundaries of the geographic area from which a candidate is elected to a public office
  22. 22.  Injunction- a court order that either forces or limits the performance of some act by a private individual or by a public official.
  23. 23. Democrat Convention 2008 Republican Convention 2008
  24. 24. This is an area of study that has beenresearched and investigated morethoroughly than just about any other inPolitical Science.Here are just some things you should know...
  25. 25.  The word idiot comes from the Greek root word idiotes, meaning those citizens who do not vote. Tens of millions of Americans, for one reason or another, do not vote.
  26. 26.  General Presidential Election (2000) › Votes cast: 51.2% of the voting populous General Presidential Election (2008) › Votes cast: 56.8% of voting populous Off-year elections-The congressionalelections held in theeven-numbered yearsbetween presidentialelections
  27. 27. Turnout of voting-age Voting-age Voter populationYear population registration Voter turnout (percent)2010** 235,809,266 NA 90,682,968 37.8%2008* 231,229,580 NA 132,618,580* 56.82006 220,600,000 135,889,600 80,588,000 37.12004 221,256,931 174,800,000 122,294,978 55.32002 215,473,000 150,990,598 79,830,119 37.02000 205,815,000 156,421,311 105,586,274 51.31998 200,929,000 141,850,558 73,117,022 36.41996 196,511,000 146,211,960 96,456,345 49.11994 193,650,000 130,292,822 75,105,860 38.81992 189,529,000 133,821,178 104,405,155 55.11990 185,812,000 121,105,630 67,859,189 36.51988 182,778,000 126,379,628 91,594,693 50.11986 178,566,000 118,399,984 64,991,128 36.41984 174,466,000 124,150,614 92,652,680 53.11982 169,938,000 110,671,225 67,615,576 39.81980 164,597,000 113,043,734 86,515,221 52.61978 158,373,000 103,291,265 58,917,938 37.21976 152,309,190 105,037,986 81,555,789 53.61974 146,336,000 96,199,0201 55,943,834 38.21972 140,776,000 97,328,541 77,718,554 55.21970 124,498,000 82,496,7472 58,014,338 46.61968 120,328,186 81,658,180 73,211,875 60.81966 116,132,000 76,288,2833 56,188,046 48.41964 114,090,000 73,715,818 70,644,592 61.91962 112,423,000 65,393,7514 53,141,227 47.31960 109,159,000 64,833,0965 68,838,204 63.1
  28. 28.  The time that it takes to vote at the polls should NOT be a significant reason for so many nonvoters. › “Cannot-Voters” › Actual Nonvoters › Inconvenient Polling
  29. 29. 1. 10 million of the 100 million potential voters who did not vote in the 2000 election are resident aliens.2. 5-6 million voters were said to be physically unable to get to the polls.3. 2-3 million voters are said to be travelling during the general elections4. Nearly half-million voters are in mental health care facilities or under some kind of legal restraint5. 2 million potential voters are in jails and prisons
  30. 30.  Even factoring in the “cannot-voters,” there is still an 80 million voter gap in the U.S. Many people simple choose not to vote › Many are convinced that their vote doesn’t make a difference › Some are content with the political world › Others share a distrust toward politics Political Efficacy- One’s own influence or effectiveness on politics
  31. 31.  Cumbersome election procedures › Registration requirements › Long ballots › Lines at voting polls “Time-zone fallout” problem › Polls in States in the Eastern/Central time zones close before Mountain/Pacific time zones › Media effect It usually comes down to lack of interest
  32. 32.  Information on voting behavior comes from 3 main sources”1. Results of Particular Elections › A careful study of the returns by areas populated by a single interest group2. Field of Survey Research › Polling of scientifically determined cross sections of the population3. Studies of Political Socialization › The process by which people gain their political attitudes and opinions
  33. 33.  There are two basic means of studying voter behavior1. Sociological factors › Voter’s personal characteristics-age, race, income, occupation, education, religion, etc. › Voter’s group affiliation-family, co-workers, friends, etc.2. Psychological factors › Voter’s perceptions of politics
  34. 34.  Written by Paul Lazarsfeld “Social Characteristics = Political Preference Activation~4 Step Process 1. Interest-make people aware 2. Exposure-people begin to learn about the campaign 3. Selective Attention-filtering information  Funnel of Causality 4. Crystallization-lock in their vote choice Reinforcement~ Used to appeal to your partisans
  35. 35.  Income/Occupation › Voters with higher incomes tend to be Republicans › Voters with lower incomes tend to be Democrats
  36. 36.  Education › Statistics show a strong correlation of higher educated voters backing a Republican candidate › A college graduates vote for Republican in higher % than do high school graduates › High school graduates vote Republican in higher % than do voters with a grade school education
  37. 37.  Gender Gap- a measureable difference between the partisan choices of men and women. › First appeared in the election of 1980 (Reagan vs. Carter) › Women generally tend to favor Democrats by a margin of 5-10% › Similarly, men favor Republicans Men and women are more likely to vote differently on specific issues: › Abortion, health-care, social welfare, and military involvement
  38. 38.  Age- traditionally, younger voters tend to be Democrats Different generations will have different political values
  39. 39.  Religious › Catholics (Irish Immigrants) = Democrats › North Protestants (English) = Republicans Ethnic Background › Nonwhites = Democrats These ethnic variables conflict with religious values much of the time
  40. 40.  Geography = sectionalism Post Civil Way › Solid South belonged to the Democrats › This is a thing of the past; the GOP now controls much of the Southern U.S. Large cities/urbancommunities drawDemocrats Suburban America =Republicans
  41. 41.  “Enduring Attachment” › The idea that partisanship strengthens over time because of outside influences. Party Affiliation › Social identification › Political Parties different constituent groups social categories identify self conception
  42. 42.  Party Identification- the loyalty of people to a particular political party › Partisanship strengthens over time › Single most significant predictor for populous’ voting outcome Straight-ticket voting: the practice of voting for candidates of only one party in an election
  43. 43.  Split-ticket voting › Voting is an inadequate measure of self- conception › Party identification is by no means the sole determinant of vote preference Rise of the Independents › Those people who have no party affiliation
  44. 44. Prisoner 1 Confess Quiet Confess 20/20 10/25Prisoner 2 Quiet 25/10 2/2

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