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Voters and Voter Behavior The Right to Vote. Are YOU Registered to Vote? All US citizens may register to vote at the age of 18 Until 1971, you had to.

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Presentation on theme: "Voters and Voter Behavior The Right to Vote. Are YOU Registered to Vote? All US citizens may register to vote at the age of 18 Until 1971, you had to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voters and Voter Behavior The Right to Vote

2 Are YOU Registered to Vote? All US citizens may register to vote at the age of 18 Until 1971, you had to be 21 but the 26 Amendment changed that

3 Are YOU Registered to Vote? Most people approved the amendment because year olds were drafted to fight in Vietnam and they should be allowed to vote for the Commander in Chief/ the president

4 History of Voting Rights The Framers left voting requirements up to the states. Even today, the federal requirements are only the minimum For example, Amendment 26 lowered the voting age to 18, but states could lower it further.

5 Expansion of the Electorate When the Constitution was written, only land-holding, white men could vote. Some individual states allowed women to vote in local elections

6 Expansion of the Electorate Black men got the right to vote with the passage of the 15 th Amendment. They still faced literacy tests and poll taxes in several states.

7 Expansion of the Electorate In 1920, women received the right to vote. Today, about 210 million people are eligible to vote Less than half do.

8 Expansion of the Electorate In Puritan New England, only Church members were eligible to vote By 1810, there were no religious qualifications anywhere in America.

9 Expansion of the Electorate After the Civil War, the 15 th Amendment was ratified in 1870 which was suppose to allow Black males to vote, regardless of previous condition of servitude. Literacy tests and poll taxes disenfranchised them

10 Expansion of the Electorate The 19 th Amendment, passed in 1920, gave all adults, including women, could vote.

11 Expansion of the Electorate The Civil Rights Act of 1965 prohibited poll taxes so that Blacks could vote freely.

12 Expansion of the Electorate In 1961, the 23 rd Amendment allowed residents of D.C. to vote for president The 24 th Amendment, ratified in 1964, eliminated poll taxes

13 Expansion of the Electorate The 26 th Amendment gave year olds the right to vote.

14 Voting Qualifications States must allow all people to vote who meet the minimum requirements set by the federal government.

15 Voters and Voter Behavior Voter Qualifications

16 Voting Qualifications Citizenship – US Residence - of the state in state/local elections Age – 18 and older

17 Voting Qualifications Every state except ND requires voters to register. Registration forms are on the internet In Florida, 17 year olds can register and vote after their 18 th birthday

18 Voting Qualifications If a person does not vote for several elections, the rolls are purged and the person’s name is removed.

19 Who Do You Vote For? Once a person is registered they can vote in federal, state and local elections There are many ways to get information about the people running for office and new laws being voted for.

20 Who Do You Vote For? Most people get their knowledge from TV TV ads are bought by the candidate or the group favoring a particular person or cause. They only tell the positive side of their side and the negative side of the opposition

21 Literacy Tests Reading tests were given to people (Indians and Blacks) that the people in power did not want to vote The tests were so difficult that college professors could not pass it

22 Poll Tax Another way people were disenfranchised was to impose poll taxes. If a voter could not afford the tax they did not vote but the unpaid tax would be added onto future poll taxes

23 Disenfranchisement Today In the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, voters complained that they were turned away Some in Florida had their names incorrectly removed from the poll books. They did not get to vote.

24 Voters and Voter Behavior Chapter 6 Sections 3 and 4

25 Increased Suffrage 15 th Amendment gives black males the right to vote Many were kept away by terror tactics, poll taxes, gerrymandering, and literacy tests

26 Gerrymandering Named after Elbridge Gerry after he drew a district in MA to ensure his associates would win elections.

27 Gerrymandering It is used today to ensure all people have representatives in government, including minority populations

28 Gerrymandering Alcee Hastings, D-FL, has benefited from gerrymandering by creating a district made up of mostly African- Americans

29 Civil Rights Act 1964 Initiated by JFK and passed by LBJ, this act prevents discrimination not only with voting, but with employment, housing, admissions, and other areas with racial barriers.

30 Voting Rights Act of 1965 Applied to all elections, local, state and federal Outlawed poll taxes and literacy tests No new state election laws could go into effect before preclearance by the Dept. of Justice

31 Voting Rights Act of 1965 Most of the laws that have gone through the preclearance process have to do with moving polling places or with deadlines.

32 Voters and Voter Behavior Chapter 6 Section 4

33 Idiots In ancient Greece, citizens who did not vote were called idiotes In 2000, there were about million voters, but almost half were idiotes who did not vote There are even more idiotes in off- year elections

34 Why Idiots Don’t Vote Cannot vote – physically or mentally ill, religious beliefs Don’t want to – for a lot of reasons, not believing their vote makes a difference Poll closing times – 3-5 hrs earlier in east with results posted early

35 Voters A typical voter: Higher income Higher income Higher education Higher education Better occupational status Better occupational status Long time residents Long time residents Party identification Party identification female female

36 Non-Voters A typical non-voter: Younger than 35 Younger than 35 Unmarried Unmarried Unskilled Unskilled Lives in south/rural area Lives in south/rural area male male

37 How People Vote It is easier to determine how some groups of people will vote Polls also use research to determine election winners All polls showed that the 2004 election would be decided by less than 2% of the vote. They were right.

38 How People Vote Psychological factors that can determine who a person votes for include: Voter’s characteristics – age, sex, education, religion, income Voter’s characteristics – age, sex, education, religion, income Voter’s affiliations – work, friends, families Voter’s affiliations – work, friends, families

39 How People Vote Sociological factors that can determine who a person votes for include: Income – lower incomes tend to vote Dem; higher=Rep Income – lower incomes tend to vote Dem; higher=Rep Education – lower education tend to vote Dem; higher=Rep Education – lower education tend to vote Dem; higher=Rep

40 How People Vote Sociological factors that can determine who a person votes for include: Age and gender – younger women tend to vote Dem; older males=Rep Age and gender – younger women tend to vote Dem; older males=Rep Religion – Catholics and Jews tend to vote Dem; Prot=Rep Religion – Catholics and Jews tend to vote Dem; Prot=Rep

41 How People Vote Sociological factors that can determine who a person votes for include: Race – Non-whites tend to vote Dem; white = Rep Race – Non-whites tend to vote Dem; white = Rep Region – CA, NY, MA=Dem; TX, KS, ND and Bible Belt=Rep. Region – CA, NY, MA=Dem; TX, KS, ND and Bible Belt=Rep.

42 How People Vote These are generalizations only and different issues sway voters How much a person feels loyalty to their party, party identification, is a good predictor of how a person will vote.

43 How People Vote Some people vote for their party, regardless of the person running for office. Straight-ticket voting relates to party affiliation.

44 How People Vote Some people, split-ticket voters, vote for candidates, regardless of political party This practice has become more common since the 1960s. Independent voters are likely to do this since they do not belong to a party

45 How People Vote In the past, independent voters were generally less informed about the candidates or issues. This is not true with new independent voters who tend to be better educated and have higher incomes

46 Party Affiliations Party affiliation still bears importance after elections when taking approval rating polls The most recent poll:

47 Bush Approval Rating % Approve Republicans 81% Approve 51% Disapprove Democrats 8% Approve Bush Approval Rating % Disapprove 43% Approve Bush Approval Rating Today


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