Presentation on theme: "Unit 1: Political Power Section 3: Voting/ Voting Behavior Essential Question: How do individuals, interest groups, and the media influence public policy?"— Presentation transcript:
Unit 1: Political Power Section 3: Voting/ Voting Behavior Essential Question: How do individuals, interest groups, and the media influence public policy?
Voter Qualifications Universal Voter Requirements – Citizenship All voters must be legal US citizens – Residency Voters must be a resident of the state for which he or she wishes to vote Decreases the likelihood of voter fraud – Age The 26 th Amendment requires that the voting age lowered to 18 Other Requirements – Registration Most state (49 of the 50) require that those who wish to vote must register with the state This is done in an attempt to prevent voter fraud
Voter Behavior: Most Likely to Vote Democrat Manual workers / lower socio-economic Citizens with no college degree Younger people Women – Gender Gap: Women tend to vote more liberal on family issues (abortion, gun control, etc.) than men Catholics and Jews African Americans and Latinos Most Likely to Vote Republican Professionals / higher socio- economic College graduates The elderly Men Protestants Predominantly White
The Right to Vote: – 15 th Amendment removes the racial barrier from voting Many states enacted other restrictions to deny African-Americans the right to vote – 19 th Amendment gives women the right to vote – The Civil Rights Laws finally make suffrage for African-Americans universal
Suffrage and Civil Rights Tools used to prevent AA suffrage: – Gerrymandering District voting lines are drawn in such a way as to limit the power of a community – Poll Taxes Voters were charged a fee in order to cast a vote – Literacy Tests Voters had to show proof of literacy before they could cast a ballot
Suffrage and Civil Rights Civil Rights Legislation – Congress passes a series of laws to provide AA with suffrage rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Outlawed discrimination base on race Voting Rights Act of 1965 – Guaranteed AA the right to vote in all elections also outlawed the use of poll taxes, literacy tests, etc.
Voter Behavior Reasons for low voter turnout: – Voter fatigue Elections happen too often causing people to grow tired of elections – “cannot-voters” Many cannot vote because of their immigration status or failing to register. – Non-voters (Choice) People who choose not to vote out of distrust of government or frustration with both political parties – Lack of political efficacy People don’t feel connected with government They feel like their vote doesn’t matter and that Washington isn’t listening to their concerns – The election procedures Long lines at polling places, too many issues on the ballot, and difficult registration procedures.
Money and Elections Campaign Spending – It is very expensive to run for office – Over the past 20 years, spending on national elections has reached outrageous figures – Presidential (2000) Bush: $37 million – Presidential (2008) Obama: $51.5 million McCain: $27 million
Money and Elections Limits on Campaign Spending: – The FEC limits the amount of money individuals may spend on candidates $2100 max to an individual $5000 max to a PAC – PAC’s may give no more than $5000 to any one candidate and the contribution must be made public
Money and Elections – Political Action Committees (PAC’s) Special interest groups form special organizations for the sole purpose of raising money to help elect politicians that will further their cause PAC’s are subject to some very strict laws that control how much money they can spend / donate on behalf of a candidate
The Formation of Public Opinion Public Opinion: The attitude people have towards government (their assumptions on how it works) – Many things influence our public opinion – We develop our attitudes / views over time
The Formation of Public Opinion Mass Media – Most Americans find out what is happening in the world through some form of mass media, TV, newspapers, radio, the internet, etc. – Advertising, political commercials, are all designed to make us think a certain way
The Formation of Public Opinion Propaganda: Used to influence people to adopt a particular belief. – Many things influence our public opinion – We develop our attitudes / views over time
Interest Groups at Work How do interest groups influence public opinion?: – Supplies the public with information – Build a positive image for group – Promise to make changes in government policy
Interest Groups at Work Lobbying: – Brings pressure to bear on politicians – By providing information and promising votes, interest groups can pressure politicians into supporting their cause