Presentation on theme: "Right to Vote The Framers left suffrage qualifications up to each State. Suffrage means the right to vote. Franchise The American electorate (people eligible."— Presentation transcript:
1 Right to VoteThe Framers left suffrage qualifications up to each State.Suffrage means the right to vote.FranchiseThe American electorate (people eligible to vote) is more than 205 million.The history of American suffrage has been marked by two long trends.Gradually extending suffrageSecond the National government taking over what was originally intended for the States
2 Extending SuffrageFirst stage – religious qualifications disappeared (no state has had a religious qualification since 1810)Second stage – followed the Civil War. The 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, was intended to protect any citizen from being denied the right to vote because of race or color.Third stage – the 19th Amendment prohibited the right to vote because of sex.Fourth stage – Voting Rights Act of 1965 would eventually push for voter equalityFifth stage – 26th Amendment in 1971 expanded the electorate (the minimum age would be 18)
3 Setting Voter Qualifications This is a power that is reserved for the States.The Constitution does place five restrictions on how the States use that power.Voters must be allowed to vote in ALL elections.Cannot be deprived based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”19th AmendmentNo paying of a tax for taking part in an election process26th Amendment
4 Voter QualificationsCitizenship – aliens, and foreign-born residents who have not achieved citizenship are generally denied the right to vote in the United States.Residence – one must be a legal resident of the State in which he or she wishes to cast a ballot. (usually for a given period of time, 30 days)To keep a political machine from importing outsiders to affect the outcome of an electionTo ensure that every voter has at least some time in which to become familiar with the candidates and issues of the election.
5 Setting Voter Qualifications Residence – nearly every State prohibits transients, or persons living in a State for a short amount of time, from gaining legal residence there.Age – the 26th Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1971.No State may set the minimum age for voting in any election at more than 18.States could set the age at younger than 18, if it so chooses.
6 Setting Voter Qualifications Registration – forty-nine States, all except North Dakota, require that most or all voters be registered to vote.Procedure that was adopted to prevent fraud.Typically you register your name, date of birth, present address, length of residence, and similar facts. (usually done with the county clerk)Literacy – today no State has a qualification based on voter literacy, or a person’s ability to read or write.Tax payments – no longer existsPersons denied the rightPersons in a mental institution or found mentally incompetentThose convicted of serious crimes
7 Suffrage and Civil Rights 15th Amendment – effort to franchise African Americans began with this amendmentCan’t be denied due to “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”This amendment had no way of being executed.Many African Americans were kept from the polls in the South.Poll taxLiteracy testsGerrymandering – drawing of district lines to limit the voting of a particular group or partyViolence
8 Early Civil Rights Legislation Civil Rights Act of 1957 – created the United States Civil Rights CommissionCheck out claims of voter discriminationThe commission would report claims to CongressThe attorney general had the power to seek court orders to prevent voter discriminationThe Civil Rights Act of 1960 provided referees to places that discriminated
9 Civil Rights Act of 1964This act outlaws discrimination in several areasForbids the literacy testProhibited job discriminationThe act relied on judicial action to overcome racial barriers by using injunctionsAn injunction is a court order that forces or restrains (limits) the performance of some act by a private individual or by a public official. Violators were punishable by a fine and or imprisonment.
10 The Voting Rights Act of 1965 This made the 15th Amendment an effective part of the Constitution.It applied to all elections held anywhere in this countryIt was originally intended to be in effect for five years, but Congress has extended its life three times.The present version has been extended for 25 years, with its provisions to expire in 2007
11 PreclearanceThe Voting Rights Act of 1965 created a further restriction on those States where a majority had not voted in 1964.No new election laws unless given preclearance through the Department of JusticeLocation of polling placesThe boundaries of election districtsDeadlines in the election processFrom ward or district election to at-large electionsThe qualifications candidates must meet
12 Voter BehaviorNonvoters – there are many millions of people who do not voteOnly about half of the people that were eligible voted in the last presidential election or about 51%The numbers go done even further in off year elections (these are elections held in even numbered years between presidential electionsPolitical efficacy – people who lack their own sense of effectiveness in politics
13 Factors that Influence Voters A voter’s personal characteristics such as age, race, income, occupation, education, and religion. (these are sociological factors)A voter’s group affiliation such as family, co-workers, and friends.Psychological factorsParty identification – loyalty to a party and voting only for that party is known as straight ticket votingSplit ticket voting is the practice of voting for candidates of more than one party in an election.Independents are those people that do not have any party affiliation.