2 The Constitution and the Right to Vote SECTION 1The 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 statesthe 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 agepower 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 removedpost Civil war - 15th Amendment prohibited restriction based on race or color
7 In 1920, the 19th 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 23rd Amendment allowed residents of Washington D.C. to vote in Presidential election24th Amendment eliminated poll taxth 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 electionsstates 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 require a payment of tax as condition of votingstates 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
13 voter remains registered unless: moves or diesis convicted of a serious crimeis committed to a mental institutionfails 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 most states require registration prior to election, days
16 VOTER QUALIFICATIONS AMONG STATES SECTION 2VOTER QUALIFICATIONS AMONG STATES
17 Citizenshipaliens are generally denied right to vote, but states could allow them to vote
18 Residencemost states require a person live within the state a certain period of time in order to qualify to voteto keep political organizations from importing voters
19 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
20 a growing number of states are now only requiring legal residence Congress has prohibited residency requirements over 30 days in federal elections (1970)nearly every state prohibits transients from voting
21 Age26th Amendment sets 18 as cap for minimum agesome states allow 17 year olds to vote in primary elections
22 persons denied the right to vote people found legally incompetentconvicted felonsdishonorably discharged veteransthe homeless
23 SUFFRAGE AND CIVIL RIGHTS SECTION 3SUFFRAGE 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 vote15th Amendment intended to ensure African-American men the right to vote
25 for almost 90 years the federal govt for almost 90 years the federal govt. ignored the voting rights of African-Americansduring 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 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 inquired into voter discrimination claims Civil Rights Acts1957- set up Civil Rights Commissioninquired into voter discrimination claimsgave the Attorney General authority to seek injunctions to prevent voter interference
29 1960 - provided for appointment of voting referees had the power to help qualified persons to register and voteoutlaws discrimination in several areas, especially job-relatedforbids the use of any registration requirement in an unfair or discriminatory manner
30 Voting Rights Act of 1965suspended the use of literacy testsauthorized the appointment of voting examinersgave federal authorities the power to register voters and oversee elections
32 The Size of the ProblemOnly about half of eligible voters turn out in presidential electionsOnly 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.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."
36 "Cannot-Voters"Nearly 20 million Americans do not vote because they cannot.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 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.
39 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.
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
42 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.
43 The greater the degree of candidate competition, the higher voter turnout is likely to be.
44 The Study of Voting Behavior Section 5The Study of Voting Behavior
50 Income and OccupationBusiness 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 EducationThe more education a voter has, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican.
52 Sex and AgeIn 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.
54 GeographyTraditionally, 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.