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Chapter 6 – Political Participation. A Closer Look at Nonvoting The Problem? – The Problem? – 50% of Americans vote in Presidential Election, 50% of Americans.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 – Political Participation. A Closer Look at Nonvoting The Problem? – The Problem? – 50% of Americans vote in Presidential Election, 50% of Americans."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6 – Political Participation

2 A Closer Look at Nonvoting The Problem? – The Problem? – 50% of Americans vote in Presidential Election, 50% of Americans vote in Presidential Election, 35%-40% in Congressional Elections 35%-40% in Congressional Elections In Europe 80% vote in most elections In Europe 80% vote in most elections Apathy the cause or are we just plain lazy? Apathy the cause or are we just plain lazy? This info is slightly exaggerated - This info is slightly exaggerated Survey Says - voting age population turnout 1984 Survey Says - voting age population turnout 52.6% Registered voters 86.8% 52.6% Registered voters 86.8% 86.8% clearly rules out apathy as a cause 86.8% clearly rules out apathy as a cause The real problem low percentage of adults are registered to vote The real problem low percentage of adults are registered to vote

3 A Closer Look at Nonvoting The book says a cause is the high cost to register to vote. The book says a cause is the high cost to register to vote. Congressional solution Motor Voter (Mixed results in states) Republicans 95% oppose Motor Voter Democrats 95% approve Congressional solution Motor Voter (Mixed results in states) Republicans 95% oppose Motor Voter Democrats 95% approve Help America Vote Act - Republican scheme Help America Vote Act - Republican scheme Apathy? I dont care about apathy.

4 In this painting, we see the judge (top center) administering an oath to a voter. The voter (in red) is swearing, with his hand on the bible, that he is entitled to vote and has not already done so. There was no system of voter registration, so this oath and the possibility that the judge or someone else in the vicinity of the polls might recognize him if he came back was all that prevented a voter from voting again and again.

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6 The first official use of a lever type voting machine, known then as the "Myers Automatic Booth," occurred in Lockport, New York in Four years later, they were employed on a large scale in the city of Rochester, New York, and soon were adopted statewide. By 1930, lever machines had been installed in virtually every major city in the United States, and by the 1960s well over half of the Nations votes were being cast on these machines.

7 The Rise of the American Electorate white male landowners white male landowners 1829 Andrew Jackson expanded the electorate to include all adult males Andrew Jackson expanded the electorate to include all adult males 21+ Most other minorities and women in most states continued to not have suffrage Most other minorities and women in most states continued to not have suffrage You cannot vote if convicted of a felony or if former occupation is a Confederate General You cannot vote if convicted of a felony or if former occupation is a Confederate General

8 From State to Federal Control Elections were a mess at first – Elections were a mess at first – Congressional candidates were picked by district, at large, plurality, majority, even/odd years Congressional candidates were picked by district, at large, plurality, majority, even/odd years Federal government steps in to create control – Districts only, even years, majority vote, first Tuesday in November. Federal government steps in to create control – Districts only, even years, majority vote, first Tuesday in November.

9 From State to Federal Control 15 th Amendment – States cannot deny the right to vote 15 th Amendment – States cannot deny the right to vote 19 th Amendment – Women gain suffrage 19 th Amendment – Women gain suffrage 17th Amendment - direct election of Senators by the electorate 17th Amendment - direct election of Senators by the electorate 23rd Amendment - District of Columbia gets to vote for the President 23rd Amendment - District of Columbia gets to vote for the President 24th Amendment - no poll taxes in federal elections 24th Amendment - no poll taxes in federal elections 26th Amendment - 18 year-olds get the right to vote (Vietnam War is the key issue) 26th Amendment - 18 year-olds get the right to vote (Vietnam War is the key issue) Literacy tests, Poll Tax, Grandfather Clause, White Primaries Literacy tests, Poll Tax, Grandfather Clause, White Primaries

10 Voter Turn Out Between 50%-60% turn out still very low Theory 1 – Really… no one cares, political parties are to similar Between 50%-60% turn out still very low Theory 1 – Really… no one cares, political parties are to similar In the late 1800s Republican domination of national politics made races boring Statistics are very skewed because vote early vote often applied (Boss Tweed) In the late 1800s Republican domination of national politics made races boring Statistics are very skewed because vote early vote often applied (Boss Tweed) Australian Ballot – Government Printed Standardized ballot more and more regulations made voting more burdensome Australian Ballot – Government Printed Standardized ballot more and more regulations made voting more burdensome

11 Who Participates in Politics? Forms of Participation 22% - Completely inactive - Do nothing (poor, uneducated, young, usually A.A.) Voting Specialists – Vote but do little else (older, less schooling, poorer) Campaigners – get involved in campaigns, know what they want and how the side Communalists – very involved in community but not politics (to much conflict) Parochial Participants – dont vote but feel the need to contact elected officials 11% - Activists - Do everything (well educated, high incomes, middle aged Forms of Participation 22% - Completely inactive - Do nothing (poor, uneducated, young, usually A.A.) Voting Specialists – Vote but do little else (older, less schooling, poorer) Campaigners – get involved in campaigns, know what they want and how the side Communalists – very involved in community but not politics (to much conflict) Parochial Participants – dont vote but feel the need to contact elected officials 11% - Activists - Do everything (well educated, high incomes, middle aged

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20 The Causes of Participation People with more schooling more likely to vote Churchgoers vote more People with more schooling more likely to vote Churchgoers vote more Men and women vote the same Whites vote more than AA Men and women vote the same Whites vote more than AA In equal socio-economic backgrounds, blacks vote more (A.A have less faith in the system) In equal socio-economic backgrounds, blacks vote more (A.A have less faith in the system) If AA all came out and voted, the power structure in America would shift If AA all came out and voted, the power structure in America would shift

21 ,159,00068,838, % ,090,00070,644, % ,328,18673,199, % ,776,00077,718, % ,309,19081,555, % ,597,00086,515, % ,466,00092,652, % ,778,00091,594, % ,529,000104,405, % ,511,00096,456, % ,815,000105,586, % ,694,000122,295, % ,500, ,500,000 (estimate [1] ) [1]64.10%

22 The Meaning of Participation Rates Percentages are lower here than other countries however we hold more elections and elect more representatives than any other country Percentages are lower here than other countries however we hold more elections and elect more representatives than any other country Americans also participate more in the political process here than abroad Americans also participate more in the political process here than abroad

23 Summary Americans do not vote – false Americans do not vote – false Americans do not register to vote – true Americans do not register to vote – true Once registered age, race and party organization determine rates Once registered age, race and party organization determine rates Schooling and information are most powerful determinations Schooling and information are most powerful determinations If you depend on the youth of this nation to vote you will lose If you depend on the youth of this nation to vote you will lose


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