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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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”
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
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
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
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”
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
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
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
Injunction- a court order that either forces or limits the performance of some act by a private individual or by a public official.
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...
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Income/Occupation › Voters with higher incomes tend to be Republicans › Voters with lower incomes tend to be Democrats
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
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
Age- traditionally, younger voters tend to be Democrats Different generations will have different political values
Religious › Catholics (Irish Immigrants) = Democrats › North Protestants (English) = Republicans Ethnic Background › Nonwhites = Democrats These ethnic variables conflict with religious values much of the time
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
“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
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
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