Presentation on theme: "Voter Behavior, Political Parties and The Electoral College"— Presentation transcript:
1 Voter Behavior, Political Parties and The Electoral College
2 Voter Behavior Compulsory voting means the people are required to vote by law.
3 Reasons for Compulsory Voting Decisions made by voters are more legitimate if a high percentage of the population votesVoting has an educational effect on the populationPolitical parties do not have to spend money trying to get people to voteVoting is a civic duty, not just a right
4 Reasons Against Compulsory Voting Violates freedom to choose to voteMay discourage education if citizens resent having to votePuts the burden on the government to enforce the voting lawMay increase random or blank ballots
5 Possible Penalties Required explanation in writing Fines Imprisonment Denied certain goods or servicesDifficulty getting a job, passport, license, child care, etc.
6 Voter BehaviorThe purpose of voting is to hold public officials accountable for their actionsElections allow citizens to participate in gov’tFree Elections are one of the things that distinguish democracy from dictatorship
7 Who Does and Does not Vote Up to 2/3 of registered voters do not vote in AmericaAge – Most voters are between 30-75College graduates vote in much higher numbers than high school dropoutsMiddle and high income Americans are more likely to vote than those with low income
8 How Voters Choose Among Candidates Party Affiliation - #1 factor in deciding who to vote forIssues – 2nd most critical factorsSwing Voters – Those without strong party affiliations. They tend to vote the issues.Candidate Characteristics – 3rd most important factor (appearance, skill, experience, record of public service, etc.)
10 Is non-voting a serious problem? Negative View – Non-voters deny themselves representation in gov’t, which can lead to class or age bias by politiciansPositive View – Non-voting represents a basic level of satisfaction among the population
12 What Political Parties Do Get candidates elected to officeRecruit candidates and support campaignsHelp organize elections and inform votersOrganize the gov’t – majority party chooses the speaker of the houseCreates platformsMinority party serves as the loyal opposition/watchdog group
13 Dividing Factor of the First 2 Political Parties Disagreed over how power should be distributedFederalists wanted a strong national governmentDemocratic Republicans wanted strong state governments
14 Democrat Beliefs Strong federal government Tax cuts for the poor, higher taxes for the richSupport gov’t regulation of businessOppose prayer in schoolsSupport the right to abortionSupport gun control lawsSupport minimum wage laws
15 Republican Beliefs Support limiting the size of the national gov’t Support giving more power to the statesFavor lower taxesOppose strong gov’t regulation of businessSupport prayer in schoolsOppose abortionOppose gun control lawsOppose minimum wage laws
16 What Function do 3rd Parties Serve? Allow people to express their frustration with the political system as it is and express their opinions in constructive ways
17 The Electoral College is the group of presidential electors who cast the official votes for president and vice president.
18 Purpose of the Electoral College Difficulty of counting all the votesFramers did not trust the voter masses to select the President
19 Number of ElectorsEach state has electors equal to the number of state representatives in CongressTotal number – 538Number needed to win - 270
20 Criticism Undemocratic 3 times (1876, 1888, 2000) candidates won the popular vote but not the electoral vote
21 Options Direct popular vote (requires a Constitutional Amendment) Congressional district method (Maine and Nebraska)National Popular Vote – Electoral votes go to the candidate that wins the national popular vote (does not require a Constitutional Amendment)
22 11 largest Electoral Votes California – 55Texas – 34New York – 31Florida – 27Pennsylvania – 21Illinois - 21Ohio – 20Michigan – 17Georgia – 15New Jersey – 15North Carolina - 15
23 Counting the Votes The 11 highest states have 271 votes combined This is enough to win the electionFlorida is ranked 4th and has 27Therefore, Florida’s vote is very significant in the outcome of the Presidential election