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Elections Chapter 7 Section 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Elections Chapter 7 Section 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Elections Chapter 7 Section 2

2 Key Terms Ballot Absentee Ballot Coattail effect Precinct
Polling Place

3 The Administration of Elections
Extent of Federal control 500,000 people hold elective office There are 89,000 units of government Most election law is State and not federal law

4 Constitution gives Congress the power to fix “the Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections”
Congress has the power to set the time for choosing presidential electors Also setting the date for casting electoral votes

5 Congress sets the date for holding congressional elections first Tuesday following the first Monday in November This is done every even numbered year. Same date for presidential every four years Next presidential election is November 6, 2012

6 Congress requires the use of secret ballots and voting machines and similar devices
Congress has also prohibited corrupt practices, regulates financing. Congress expanded election law in 2002 Response to ballot irregularities in the 2000 election

7 Major provisions Replace lever operated systems and punch cards by 2006 (most States failed to meet) Upgrade their administration through Better training Local election officials and poll workers Centralize and computerize their election process





12 Provide provisional voting
If eligibility is challenged the person can cast a ballot and counted if found to be qualified State laws deals with all matters in national, State and local elections

13 Election Day Most States hold elections to fill State offices on same date as congressional elections The method prevents the election from falling on a Sunday (separation of church and State) Or first day of the month (payday) helps to stop campaign pressures Some States set certain elections on odd numbered years

14 Early voting Millions cast their ballot on election day Absentee ballot- a process by which vote without going to the polling place on election day Congress started absentee ballots during the Civil War (troops could vote)1864



17 Voters can apply weeks before the election
Mark ballots and return by mail Must be postmarked by election day Originally for only a small number of people Any person can cast an absentee ballot if they wish

18 Coattail effect Coattail effect- occurs when a strong candidate is running for office at the top of the ballot and helps attract voters to the lesser known candidates Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Regan, and Barack Obama.

19 Reverse coattail Barry Goldwater 1964 George McGovern 1972
Jimmy Carte 1980 They make the lesser known candidates lose votes because the top candidate was so unpopular Some argue that State and local should not be held at the same time as federal elections

20 Precincts and Polling Places
Precinct- smallest geographic unit to conduct elections State law restricts their size to 500 to 1,000 qualified voters Polling Place-the place where the voters who live in the precinct actually vote. Located somewhere in the precinct

21 Precinct election board supervises the election
County clerk or county board of elections draws precinct lines Fixes the locations of each polling place Picks members of the precinct boards

22 Precinct board opens and closes the polls
Polls open at 07:00am and close at 08:00pm Must make sure that all ballots and ballot boxes, voting machines Make certain only qualified people get to vote Counts all the votes cast and sends to the proper place

23 Poll watchers One from each party
May challenge if a voter is qualified Makes sure their party’s supporters vote Monitor the process of counting

24 Each state provides for a secret ballot
Casting the Ballot Can be a piece of paper Optical scanners Touch screens Each state provides for a secret ballot State law requires that ballots be cast and others cannot know how you voted

25 Voting was a public process in the early days
Paper ballots used in colonial times More commonly was the voice vote Voters simply stated their choices Suffrage limited to privileged few many defended it as “manly” Marked increase in electorate brought about the possibility of intimidation and vote buying

26 Paper ballots general use by 1800’s
First were unofficial slips of paper Some candidate prepared their own ballots Some colored anyone would know who you were voting for Political machines Mobilized or manufactured votes Fought making voting more dependable



29 Had four essential features
Australian Ballot First used in 1856 By 1900 all States were using it Had four essential features Printed at public expense Lists the names of all candidates Given out only at the polls to qualified voters Can be marked in secret


31 Oregon 1907 the first to mail ballots
Sample ballots Clearly marked and available in most States Some states mail them to voters Some appear in Newspapers Oregon 1907 the first to mail ballots Candidates are left space to put in information about their qualifications


33 Bed-sheet ballots Lists so many candidates
Even the most informed voter has difficulty Local elections have the longest lists Thought was the more people the more democratic Critics say it leads to ballot fatigue

34 Most of this century voting machines were lever operated
Automated Voting Thomas Edison invented the first voting machine (1868) Lever operated Most of this century voting machines were lever operated Sped up voting process Bulky to store and to transport

35 Electronic vote counting
First used in California 1960’s electronic data processing (EDP) EDP uses punch cards The sometimes have problems Hanging chads (incomplete punches) All punch cards were to be eliminated by the Help America Vote Act of 2002

36 Some States use optical scanners (similar to test graders)
Others are electronic voting machines Direct Response Electronic Voting Machines (DRE’s) People touch a screen Or pushing buttons DRE’s have been dropped because of hacking and malfunctions

37 Most States have gone back to optical scanners and hand counted paper ballots

38 Vote by mail Number of States conduct elections this way
Ballot mailed to qualified voters house Filled out and mailed back Similar to absentee voting Oregon holds all elections this way No evidence of voter fraud Higher participation

39 Online voting Use the Internet First used in Texas 1997
Arizona presidential primary done through electronic voting 2008 Arizona was the first State to allow all registered voters living abroad (both military and civilian) to vote early and online

40 Public officials and private companies endorse the idea
Makes it more convenient for participants Reduces election costs Skeptics believe the electronic infrastructure is not ready for E-voting Digital disaster, hackers, fraudulent vote counts, violations of secrecy

41 Critics say not everyone can afford a home computer
Would undermine basic American principle of equality

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