Political Participation

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Political Participation

  1. 1. American Government Chapter 6 Political Participation
  2. 2. VOTING! <ul><li>VIEW THAT AMERICANS DON’T VOTE DUE TO APATHY IS WRONG: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ONCE REGISTERED, AMERICANS DO VOTE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TURNOUT : 50% in Prez; 30%-40% in Midterms; Lower in state and local elections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FACTORS TO VOTING INCLUDE: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AGE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RACE </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PARTY ORGANIZATION </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BARRIERS TO REGISTRATION </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>POPULAR VIEWS OF SIGNIFICANCE OF ELECTION </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Reasons for non-voting are complex: <ul><li>Apathy is wrong because…. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. Misleading description of problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Incorrect explanation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3. Proposes a remedy that won’t work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember….real problem is registration to vote! OR….. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VOTERS MAY BE HAPPY!? </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Americans vs. Europeans <ul><li>Comparatively, Amer. Vote less than other countries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But voting for more offices in more elections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other nations penalize for nonvoting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Americans engage in other forms of political participation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing letters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attending meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attending a rally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protesting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joining civic associations </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. American vs. Europeans <ul><li>Voting registration </li></ul><ul><li>In U.S. must actively register, in Europe, automatic </li></ul><ul><li>Motor Voter law passed </li></ul><ul><li>in 1993 had taken effect </li></ul><ul><li>by 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>--increased voter </li></ul><ul><li> turnout </li></ul><ul><li>The two party system not adversely affected although independents increased </li></ul>
  6. 6. Figure 6.1: Sources of Voter Registration Application, 1995-1996 Source: Federal Election Commission, Executive Summary--Report to Congress , June 1997.
  7. 7. How do different forms of participation affect the government?
  8. 8. Most powerful determinant of participation: <ul><li>Schooling and information: more educated vote most </li></ul><ul><li>Age: largest voting turn-out = 40-70 yr.olds </li></ul><ul><li>least = 18 - 25 year olds </li></ul><ul><li>Race: African-Americans vote in about the same rates as whites when comparing socio-economics </li></ul>
  9. 9. Factors Affecting Voter Preference <ul><li>Geography ; Rep. South; Dem. West </li></ul><ul><li>Strong Candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Time: Realigning or Critical elections = long term change in politics (1932; 1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Party Affiliations (strongest predictor); more split-ticket voting; more independents (young, college-educated with above avg. incomes) </li></ul><ul><li>Demographics: Sex; Race; Social Class; Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Issues : Retrospective (have things gotten better) vs. Prospective Voting (looking ahead at what will be done) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Factors Affecting Voter Turnout <ul><li>Level of Education </li></ul><ul><li>Income </li></ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><li>Race </li></ul>
  11. 11. Figure 6.4: Voter Turnout in Presidential Elections, by Age, Schooling, and Race, 1964-1996 Source: Updated from Gary R. Orren, “The Linkage of Policy to Participation,” in Presidential Selection , ed. Alexander Heard and Michael Nelson (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1987). Data for 1996 are from Statistical Abstract of the United States 1998 , 296, as supplied by Christopher Blunt.
  12. 12. Verba and Nye: Six Forms of Political Participation <ul><li>(1) Completely Inactive (22%=1/5 of pop.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rarely votes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>no organization involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rarely, if ever, talks about politics and issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• (2) Voting Specialists (21%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> --votes but does little else </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> --tends not to have much schooling or income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> --substantially older than the average person </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Verba and Nye: Six Forms of Political Participation <ul><li>(3) Campaigners (15%) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Votes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaigns activists: works phones, walks precincts, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better educated than average </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distinguishing features: interested in conflicts, passions and struggles of politics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearly identified with a party </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness to take strong positions on issues </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Verba and Nye: Six Forms of Political Participation <ul><li>(4) Communalists (20%) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Much like Campaigners for social background but different temperament: doesn’t like conflict, tension of partisan campaign. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reserves energies for community activities of a nonpar-tisan nature--forming/joining non-political local organizations to deal with local problems and contacting local officials. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Verba and Nye: Six Forms of Political Participation <ul><li>(5) Parochial Participants (4%) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t vote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stays out of election campaigns and civic associations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willing to contact public officials about specific, often personal, problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• (6) Complete Activists (11%--1/9th of population) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Highly educated/high income </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Participates in all forms of politics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tends to be middle aged. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Historically, voting in hands of white males: <ul><li>By Andrew Jackson’s administration (1829-1837), voting rights broadened to include virtually all white adult males. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some states still restricted on owning property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Jersey 1844, North Carolina 1856 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Black males, women and Chinese Americans all get the vote after white males. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Quick Quiz: <ul><li>Name the Amendment, Act or legislation that provided voting rights and abolished restrictions on the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Black males </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poll Taxes, Grandfather Clauses, Literacy Tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>District of Columbia residents can vote for President </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>18 year olds </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Quick Quiz: <ul><li>Name the Amendment, Act or legislation that provided voting rights and abolished restrictions on the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Black males: 15th Amend. (1870) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women: 19th Amend. (1920) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poll Taxes, Grandfather Clauses, Literacy Tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil Rights Act of 1965 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>District of Columbia residents can vote for President: 23rd. Amend. (1961) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>18 year olds: Voting Rights Act (1970) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><ul><li>Supreme Court didn’t see it that way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15th Amend. didn’t nec. give black males right to vote, said if voting denied, could not be on grounds of race. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Burden of proving discrimination was on the backs of blacks…..this led to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• literacy tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• poll taxes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• grandfather clauses to exclude blacks. </li></ul></ul>Black Males right to vote: 15th Amendment (1870)
  20. 20. Voting Rights Act: 1965 <ul><li>Suspended use of literacy tests </li></ul><ul><li>Authorized appts. of fed. Examiners who could order reg. of blacks in states </li></ul>
  21. 21. 19th Amendment: 1920 <ul><li>Gave women the right to vote in federal elections. </li></ul><ul><li>No significant change in voting outcomes </li></ul>
  22. 22. Voting Rights Act: 1970 <ul><li>Gave 18 year olds the right to vote in both state and federal elections beginning in 1/1/71. </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court rejected as unconstitutional the “state” part thus requiring 26th Amendment. </li></ul><ul><li>Added and ratified in 1971. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Election 1972 <ul><li>First election 18 year olds could vote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nixon (R ) vs. McGovern (D) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Turn out lower than expected </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>• No party or candidate got a huge “boost” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. District of Columbia votes: 23rd Amendment (1961) <ul><li>District of Columbia was left out of Electoral College in Article II thus until 1961 never had their Presidential vote counted. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Voting now… <ul><li>National standards now govern voting </li></ul><ul><li>No literacy, property, nor residency requirement </li></ul><ul><li>Ballots printed multi-lingually </li></ul><ul><li>Federal voter registrars and poll workers sent in where 50% or less of voting-age pop. participated in last Presidential election. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Voter turn-out is still low <ul><li>Two views </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline is real and result in population decline in election interest. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Two major parties so close--no real differences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline is more apparent than real </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Voting fraud- people voted “early and often” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Party machines </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parties no more democratic and voters easier to manipulate </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Voting reforms: <ul><li>Australian Ballot (1890) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Government printed ballots, not parties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uniform in size and shape </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secret and secure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What were allegations from election 2000??? - let’s pause to laugh at Florida for a bit… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1000 voted for all 10 candidates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3600 voted for all but Bush </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>700 voted for all but Gore </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7000 voted for Bush AND Gore </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Voter drop after 1890: <ul><li>Most scholars agree there was a drop: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Longer residency requirement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aliens no longer vote until actual citizen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harder for blacks to vote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education qualification for voting instituted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters must register far in advance of election </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Progressive reforms: <ul><li>Hurt honest voters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Those with little education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who recently move </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Voter turnout: 1960-1980 <ul><li>Dropped about 10% for no apparent reason </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot be explained by previous examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nor can the 5% increase in 1988 (50%) or the 1992 increase either (55%). </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Figure 6.2: Voter Participation in Presidential Elections, 1860-1996 Source: For 1860-1928: Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics for the United States, Colonial Times to 1970 , part 2, 1071; 1932-1992: Statistical Abstract of the United States , 1992, 517.

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