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Chapter 6 Voting. SECTION 1 The Constitution and the Right to Vote.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 6 Voting. SECTION 1 The Constitution and the Right to Vote."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 6 Voting

2 SECTION 1 The Constitution and the Right to Vote

3 The History of Voting Rights in the United States

4 What were the original provisions for voting in the United States? framers of Constitution purposely left power to set up suffrage qualifications up to the states framers of Constitution purposely left power to set up suffrage qualifications up to the states the right to vote was restricted to white male adult property owners the right to vote was restricted to white male adult property owners

5 What have been the trends in the history of suffrage? The gradual elimination of restrictions based on religion, property ownership, tax payment, race and, sex, and age The gradual elimination of restrictions based on religion, property ownership, tax payment, race and, sex, and age power over suffrage has been assumed by the federal government from the states power over suffrage has been assumed by the federal government from the states

6 How has the American electorate grown over time?  early 1800's - religious tax, and property restrictions removed  post Civil war - 15th Amendment prohibited restriction based on race or color

7  In 1920, the 19 th Amendment granted women suffrage  1960's - enforcement of civil rights acts prohibited racial restriction in polling places

8 23rd Amendment allowed residents of Washington D.C. to vote in Presidential election 23rd Amendment allowed residents of Washington D.C. to vote in Presidential election 24th Amendment eliminated poll tax 24th Amendment eliminated poll tax th Amendment- 18 year old vote th Amendment- 18 year old vote

9 Power to set voting qualifications is reserved to the states

10 What restrictions are placed on the States by the Constitution? allows the same voters to vote in all elections allows the same voters to vote in all elections states cannot deprive a person suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude states cannot deprive a person suffrage based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude

11 states cannot deprive a person suffrage based on sex states cannot deprive a person suffrage based on sex states cannot require a payment of tax as condition of voting states cannot require a payment of tax as condition of voting states cannot deprive a person 18 years old suffrage because of age states cannot deprive a person 18 years old suffrage because of age

12 States may require prior registration and gives election officials a list of persons qualified to vote in an election States may require prior registration and gives election officials a list of persons qualified to vote in an election

13 voter remains registered unless: moves or dies moves or dies is convicted of a serious crime is convicted of a serious crime is committed to a mental institution is committed to a mental institution fails to vote for a certain number of years or elections fails to vote for a certain number of years or elections

14 Congress required states to ease the registration process by passing the Motor Voter Law, which directs states to:

15 allows citizens to register when renewing driver's license allows citizens to register when renewing driver's license most states require registration prior to election, days most states require registration prior to election, days

16 SECTION 2 VOTER QUALIFICATIONS AMONG STATES

17 Citizenship aliens are generally denied right to vote, but states could allow them to vote aliens are generally denied right to vote, but states could allow them to vote

18 Residence most states require a person live within the state a certain period of time in order to qualify to vote most states require a person live within the state a certain period of time in order to qualify to vote to keep political organizations from importing voters to keep political organizations from importing voters

19 accepted view that the voter should be familiar with candidates and issues accepted view that the voter should be familiar with candidates and issues originally as long as days, today about 1/2 of the states have 30 day requirements originally as long as days, today about 1/2 of the states have 30 day requirements

20 a growing number of states are now only requiring legal residence a growing number of states are now only requiring legal residence Congress has prohibited residency requirements over 30 days in federal elections (1970) Congress has prohibited residency requirements over 30 days in federal elections (1970) nearly every state prohibits transients from voting nearly every state prohibits transients from voting

21 Age 26th Amendment sets 18 as cap for minimum age 26th Amendment sets 18 as cap for minimum age some states allow 17 year olds to vote in primary elections some states allow 17 year olds to vote in primary elections

22 persons denied the right to vote people found legally incompetent people found legally incompetent convicted felons convicted felons dishonorably discharged veterans dishonorably discharged veterans the homeless the homeless

23 SECTION 3 SUFFRAGE AND CIVIL RIGHTS

24 African American suffrage in the 1960's civil rights workers suffered violence in order to ensure others had the right to vote in the 1960's civil rights workers suffered violence in order to ensure others had the right to vote 15th Amendment intended to ensure African- American men the right to vote 15th Amendment intended to ensure African- American men the right to vote

25 for almost 90 years the federal govt. ignored the voting rights of African- Americans for almost 90 years the federal govt. ignored the voting rights of African- Americans during that period, they were kept away from the polls by use of violence, intimidation, and social pressure during that period, they were kept away from the polls by use of violence, intimidation, and social pressure

26 literacy tests, poll taxes, and gerrymandering were used to keep them from voting literacy tests, poll taxes, and gerrymandering were used to keep them from voting Congress was forced to act in response to civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Congress was forced to act in response to civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King

27 What effect did Civil Rights Acts in the 1950’s and 1960’s have on the right to vote?

28 Civil Rights Acts set up Civil Rights Commission set up Civil Rights Commission –inquired into voter discrimination claims – gave the Attorney General authority to seek injunctions to prevent voter interference

29 provided for appointment of voting referees provided for appointment of voting referees –had the power to help qualified persons to register and vote outlaws discrimination in several areas, especially job-related outlaws discrimination in several areas, especially job-related –forbids the use of any registration requirement in an unfair or discriminatory manner

30 Voting Rights Act of 1965 suspended the use of literacy tests suspended the use of literacy tests authorized the appointment of voting examiners authorized the appointment of voting examiners gave federal authorities the power to register voters and oversee elections gave federal authorities the power to register voters and oversee elections

31 Section 4 Nonvoting

32 The Size of the Problem Only about half of eligible voters turn out in presidential elections Only about half of eligible voters turn out in presidential elections Only about a third of eligible voters turn out in off-year elections Only about a third of eligible voters turn out in off-year elections

33 Little-Recognized Aspects of the Problem More people vote in federal than in State and local elections. More people vote in federal than in State and local elections. Turnout is lower in off-year elections, primaries, and special elections than it is in presidential-year elections. Turnout is lower in off-year elections, primaries, and special elections than it is in presidential-year elections.

34 In general, the farther down the ballot an office is, the fewer the number of votes that will be cast for it. This phenomenon is called "ballot fatigue." In general, the farther down the ballot an office is, the fewer the number of votes that will be cast for it. This phenomenon is called "ballot fatigue."

35 Why People Do Not Vote

36 "Cannot-Voters" Nearly 20 million Americans do not vote because they cannot. Nearly 20 million Americans do not vote because they cannot. Cannot-voters include aliens, the mentally or physically handicapped, and people in prison. Cannot-voters include aliens, the mentally or physically handicapped, and people in prison.

37 Some people cannot vote because their religious beliefs forbid them to participate in government. Some people cannot vote because their religious beliefs forbid them to participate in government. Some are still prevented from voting because of discriminatory electoral practices. Some are still prevented from voting because of discriminatory electoral practices.

38 Actual Nonvoters (choose not to or just do not vote) Many people do not vote because they are satisfied with the political system as it is and believe that the outcome of elections will not affect them. Many people do not vote because they are satisfied with the political system as it is and believe that the outcome of elections will not affect them.

39 Many others do not vote because they distrust the political process and do not think that they have any effective political power. Many others do not vote because they distrust the political process and do not think that they have any effective political power. Bad weather, "time-zone fallout," and cumbersome election procedures keep some away from the polls. Bad weather, "time-zone fallout," and cumbersome election procedures keep some away from the polls.

40 Factors Affecting Turnout Voters are most likely to be people at the higher end of the social, economic, and educational ladder, and those active in their communities Voters are most likely to be people at the higher end of the social, economic, and educational ladder, and those active in their communities

41 What are characteristics of non-voters?

42 Nonvoters are most likely to be under 35, unmarried and unskilled, and living in the South or in a rural area. Nonvoters are most likely to be under 35, unmarried and unskilled, and living in the South or in a rural area. People with a high sense of political efficacy vote no matter what their personal background. People with a high sense of political efficacy vote no matter what their personal background.

43 The greater the degree of candidate competition, the higher voter turnout is likely to be. The greater the degree of candidate competition, the higher voter turnout is likely to be.

44 Section 5 The Study of Voting Behavior

45 How do observers learn about voter behavior? How do observers learn about voter behavior?

46 They carefully study the results of particular elections They carefully study the results of particular elections –Voter totals –Changes in voting patterns –Changes in voter demographics

47 They conduct and study public opinion polls. They conduct and study public opinion polls. –They ask voters why they voted on particular candidates and issues

48 They try to understand political socialization They try to understand political socialization –all of the complex influences that go into how people see the political world and their role within it.

49 What sociological factors affect voting?

50 Income and Occupation Business and professional people and those from higher income groups tend to support the Republican party while manual workers and those from lower income groups tend to support the Democratic party. Business and professional people and those from higher income groups tend to support the Republican party while manual workers and those from lower income groups tend to support the Democratic party.

51 Education The more education a voter has, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican. The more education a voter has, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican.

52 Sex and Age In recent years, men and younger voters have been more likely to vote Republican. In recent years, men and younger voters have been more likely to vote Republican.

53 Religious & Ethnic Background Jews, Catholics, and non- whites tend to support the Democratic party. Jews, Catholics, and non- whites tend to support the Democratic party.

54 Geography Traditionally, Southerners and residents of large northeastern cities have been strongly Democratic. Traditionally, Southerners and residents of large northeastern cities have been strongly Democratic.

55 Family & Other Group Affiliations People in the same family or circle of friends tend to vote alike. People in the same family or circle of friends tend to vote alike.

56 What psychological factors affect voting?

57 Party Identification A voter's loyalty to one political party is the single most important predictor of how that person will vote. A voter's loyalty to one political party is the single most important predictor of how that person will vote.

58 Candidates and Issues Although many voters usually vote for one party or the other, they may switch allegiances in a given election based on the particular candidates or issues involved. Although many voters usually vote for one party or the other, they may switch allegiances in a given election based on the particular candidates or issues involved.


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