Presentation on theme: "VOTING AND ELECTIONS Chapter 13 O’Connor and Sabato"— Presentation transcript:
1VOTING AND ELECTIONS Chapter 13 O’Connor and Sabato American Government:Continuity and Change
2VOTING AND ELECTIONS In this chapter we will cover… The Purposes Served by ElectionsDifferent Kinds of ElectionsPresidential ElectionsCongressional ElectionsVoting BehaviorReforming The Electoral Process
3The Purposes Served by Elections Most change in the United States comes about on the basis of elections.Elections generally allow us to avoid:riotsgeneral strikescoups d'etatsElections serveto legitimate governments through the mandates of the electorateto fill public offices and organize governmentsto allow people with different views and policy agendas to come to powerto ensure that the government remains accountable to the people.
4Different Kinds of Elections Primary ElectionsGeneral ElectionsInitiative, Referendum, and RecallInitiatives allow citizens to propose legislation and submit it to popular vote.A referendum allows the legislature to submit proposed legislation for popular approval.Recall elections allow citizens to remove someone from office.
5Presidential Elections Choosing the nation’s chief executive is a long, exhilarating, and exhausting process that often begins even before the previous election ends.The presidential election is held every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
7Electoral CollegeThe Electoral College was a compromise created by the Framers to ensure that the president was chosen intelligently and with the input of each of the states.The number of electors is determined by the federal representation for each state.For example, California has 52 members of the House of Representatives and 2 Senators – 54 electoral votes.
8Electoral CollegeThere are a total of 538 electoral votes (535 members of Congress and 3 for the District of Columbia)A majority of 270 wins the presidency.Just as George W. Bush did in 2000, a candidate can win a majority of electoral votes with a minority of popular votes and still be elected to the office.
13Congressional Elections In Congressional elections:candidates tend to be less visible.most candidates are or were state legislators.name recognition is often the most important battle of the campaign.candidates receive little media coverage.
15IncumbencyIncumbency advantage – the electoral edge afforded to those already in office…achieved through:Higher visibilityExperienceOrganizationFund-raising ability
16Voting Behavior Voter Participation About 40% of the eligible adult population votes regularly.About 25% are occasional voters.About 35% rarely or never vote.
17Voter Turnout in Presidential and Midterm Elections
18Who Votes?Income – people with higher incomes have a higher tendency to vote.Age – older people tend to vote more often than younger people (less than half of eligible year olds are registered to vote).Gender – Since 1980, women have a higher tendency to vote for Democrats than Republicans.Race – in general, whites tend to vote more regularly than African-Americans (this may be due to income and education rather than race).
19Does Low Voter Turnout Matter? Is low voter turnout a problem in a democracy?Do we want the uninformed or poor and uneducated voting? Might they make bad decisions?
20Reforming the Electoral Process Some possibilities:Abolition of the electoral collegeThe establishment of a permanent congressional district schemeThe elimination of the elector systemNomination process by lottery… New Hampshire not always firstRestructuring campaign finance laws