Presentation on theme: "Stop Complaining to ME… Voter Behavior and Thinking."— Presentation transcript:
Stop Complaining to ME… Voter Behavior and Thinking
What do you think…? Talk with your neighbor.. What are 3 reasons why people (who are eligible to vote) DO NOT VOTE?
First, let’s look at the % of people who do or do not vote… Fact #1 - About 30 percent of adults are “habitual voters” **They vote in presidential, midterm, school board elections. **They vote even when elections are not expected to be close. Fact #2 - About 35 percent—are registered to vote - "periodic voters" **Generally vote in presidential elections but may not hit the polls for other elections. Fact #3 - About 35 percent of adults aren't registered to vote – so they don’t vote
How to get people interested in voting? Maybe we need celebrities… Let’s take a look at one way… What do you think? Is this going to work?
Or…maybe we should be like Australia… Australia Voter Turnout - 94-96% –Registering to vote and going to the polls are legal duties in Australia for citizens aged 18 and over, and failing to do so can result in a fine ($18) and potentially a day in court. 65% in the UK's 2010 general election 57% in the 2012 US presidential election.
Now…if you wanted to fight this without getting fined, what might you do as a voter? Increase in recent years of what Australians call informal or spoiled ballots – –voters either mistakenly or intentionally submit a ballot that is blank or improperly filled in, which cannot be counted in the final tally. –Count for around 6% of the total votes cast –Taken together with the number of eligible voters who fail to register, the actual percentage for voter turnout in Australia's federal elections hovers in the low 80s
Must be 18 The 26th Amendment "The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age” Procedural - AGE
Procedural - Residence Resident Aliens Def: A foreigner who is a permanent resident of the country in which he or she resides but does not have citizenship No to Illegal Aliens as well The reason for that is to protect America from being subverted from within by other countries HoweverHowever…how do the American people feel? Why?
[At National Level – no]…But at the local level, all residents are already "citizens" in the sense that one definition of citizen is "an inhabitant of a city or town." Immigrants should not have to wait until they're naturalized to be able to vote for the school board or the city council, which have important effects on their lives ~Law professor
Procedural - (Absentee Ballot) ILL or Physically Disabled If unable to leave the house, they would have needed to apply for an Absentee ballot, but if it happened suddenly (day before election…couldn’t go)
Procedural- (Absentee Ballot) Expect to be Out of Town – college, business trip Could happen suddenly If unexpectedly called away, they would not have time to apply for an Absentee ballot
Procedural- (Absentee Ballot) Those serving in the military
Procedural – Adults in Prison Can’t vote - Why? Govt reason - They have proven themselves unfit to make one of life's most important decisions: choosing the nation's leaders. "If you aren't willing to follow the law, you can't claim the right to make the law for everyone else.“
Here in Pennsylvania… Some states - Maine and Vermont allowed jailed felons to vote
A few years ago, PA stipulated that you had to be out of jail for at least 5 years (9 million voters) before you were able to vote again HOWEVER courts ruled this UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Procedural – Mentally Ill If you are declared by professionals to be mentally incompetent, you are barred from voting in some states Let’s look at PA –490,000 citizens are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's. –Another 350,000 citizens are mentally handicap. “Some of them don't understand the basics of how voting works -- for instance, that the person with the most votes wins” -- said Dr. Jason Karlawish, an associate professor with the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics –PA No statute or provision disqualifying a person with mental illness from voting. PA population- 12.77 million
Procedural Cumbersome (Election Procedures) Such as… registration, showing ID, Voting in a specific location
Procedural Cumbersome Election Procedures Voter ID… hot topic…old Poll Taxes? IF YOU DON’T REQUIRE A PHOTO ID - makes it easy for people to vote more than once or under names not their own, inviting fraud that compromises the integrity of elections. *If one must have an ID to drive, rent a hotel room, or buy alcohol, they argue, requiring it to vote is reasonable. Critics of voter ID laws say that the threat of voter fraud is wildly exaggerated and that such requirements disenfranchise certain communities, such as minorities, the poor, and senior citizens
PA – 2012 – Gov. Corbett signed Voter ID Law A Pennsylvania judge in January (2014) struck down the law requiring voters in the state to show photo identification at the polls –“the requirement imposed ‘unreasonable burden’ on voters” –Corbett Will not take it to the next level Who challenged the law? – –civil and voters' rights groups (ACLU)
So…what does that mean for PA…? Will continue with its current voter verification process: –A voter's signature is compared to a signature on file
The Candidates It is more common in state and local elections to have a lower voter turnout *suffer from BALLOT FATIGUE - def: the further down the ballot an office is, the fewer number of votes will be cast
The Candidates - SATISFIED WITH WHOEVER They are satisfied with the political world as they see it – No matter who wins the election, things will continue to go well for them
The Candidates DISTRUST THE SYSTEM Distrust politicians and politics – That government by the people has been taken over by: greedy politicians, powerful special interest groups, and the media
The Candidates No One They Like They just don’t like the candidates, their issues, their morals, etc….
The Candidates Lack of Interest Most often they do not know the simplest factors about the candidates and issues Question? Is it wrong NOT TO VOTE because you don’t know the facts? Vote or Die (DVD )
Personal Reasons Oops… Forgetting to vote A common explanation – just get too busy dealing with other things
Personal Reasons – Religious Beliefs They believe that acts such as voting are idolatry (def: worship of any image, idea, or object, as opposed to the worship of a monotheistic deity) Jehovah’s Witness, Anabaptists, Hutterines, Mennonites, German Baptists, Dunkwards, Moravians, Separatists, Congregationalists, The Amish, and certain other types of Baptists
Personal Reasons – NO REAL DIFFERENCE They are convinced that it makes no real difference so they choose not to go to the polls
Personal Reasons No Transportation to or from polling place
Personal Reasons LONG LINES and deal with CROWDS Polls open and close at certain times –Can you get time off of work? –What if you work a 12-14 hr. shift? –Average wait time? Nation (2012)? Michigan voters spent an average of 21.9 minutes waiting National rate of 11.9 minutes
Personal Reasons Time Zone Fallout East Coast Polls close however West Coast is still OPEN…Media projects winner
When are the General Elections held? In NOVEMBER – Tuesday-after-the-first-Monday Primaries (ex: Direct, Blanket) State law establish the date for the primary election Ex: PA May 20, 2014
When are the General Elections held? Why so specific? Prevents Election Day from falling on a:
Oops – I have to register Paper Way post office Or Online *Still have to send it in the mail
Oops – I have to register Online *Still have to send it in the mail
What if I won’t be around to vote? Most states make provisions for absentee voting Def: voting by those unable to get to their regular polling places on election day
3 groups who can apply 1) those too ill or disabled to make it out 2) those who expect to be out of town (business trip, college, vacation) 3) Those serving in the military Have to apply for an absentee ballot within a specific period of time, mark the ballot, seal it, and return it to the proper local election official
Can you spot the oops? 300 Absentee ballots with the gaffe were mailed out to voters in Rensselaer County, NY (once caught – 3700 were destroyed and new ones mail out)
Couldn’t I vote early…? Nearly half of the states allow voters to cast ballots over a period of several days before an election….NOT PA
Where do I go to vote? Your Precinct is your voting district (500- 1000 qualified voters) Your Polling Place is the place where the voters who live in a precinct actually cast their vote
Each Precinct is supervised by an Election Board 1)Supervise the polling place 2)Makes sure the ballots, ballot boxes, voting machines are available 3)Check to be sure voters meet the qualifications 4)Count the votes and report to proper place
How do I vote? Casting a ballot…what is that? Def: a device by which a voter registers a choice in an election Send out sample ballots or printed in the newspaper or on the internet BUT not officially be cast
Old Way Paper based punch card voting machines (Butterfly Ballots)
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