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Voting. Overview Voting Campaigns –“Traditional” vs. “Professional” –Finance.

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Presentation on theme: "Voting. Overview Voting Campaigns –“Traditional” vs. “Professional” –Finance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voting

2 Overview Voting Campaigns –“Traditional” vs. “Professional” –Finance

3 Overview Voter turnout data - the trends To vote or not to vote?

4 Voter Turnout Is voting important in democratic politics? Why?

5 Voter Turnout 2008 School Board election data, Hudson County Board of Election 2008 School Board election 2008 Presidential Election data, Hudson County Board of Election 2008 Presidential Election 2008 Presidential Election Data, national 2008 Presidential Election Data Voter Turnout Data, US Bureau of the Census Voter Turnout Data, US Bureau of the Census

6 Voter Turnout Voter Turnout Data, US Elections Project* *corrected for ineligible voters Voter Turnout Data, US Elections Project

7 Voter Turnout However we measure turnout, the US numbers are significantly lower than those of most other democratic countriesdemocratic countries Is this a problem? Should we care? How significant is voting in democratic politics?

8 Voter Turnout If we examine data over time, we find that US voter turnout in presidential elections increased fairly steadily from 1924 to 1940, dropped during WW2, and returned to prewar levels in the 1950s Turnout held relatively steady from 1952 to 1968, when we began to see a slow steady decline (except for 1992, 2004, 2008)

9 Voter Turnout Participation in US politics has increased over the years Eligibility requirements have changed –religious tests (by early 19th Century) –property requirements (by early 19th Century) –race (1870: 15th Amendment) –sex (1920: 19th Amendment) –age (1971: 26th Amendment)

10 Voter Turnout Variables influencing voter turnout –Registration requirements Response: Motor/Voter Law, “Instant” Registration –Election Day in midweek Most countries have election day on non-work day, either a weekend or a holiday

11 Voter Turnout Variables influencing voter turnout –Type of Election General elections higher than primary elections Presidential election higher than “midterm elections” Midterm elections higher than “off year” elections State elections higher than local elections “Political” elections higher than school board and other electionsschool board Competitiveness of the election

12 Voter Turnout Variables influencing voter turnout –Impact on negative campaigning Voters become disenchanted with process as a result of the negative ads Demographic variables –some demographic groups have lower turnout than others

13 Voter Turnout Race –Minorities (black and Hispanic in particular) have lower voter turnouts than whites Income/Education –Poor and less educated people have lower voter turnouts than wealthier and better educated individuals Age –18 to 24 year olds have lowest voter turnout of any age demographic

14 Black Turnout

15 Youth Voter Turnout

16 Paticipation in Elections Beyond voting, other “pathways” to participate –Stay informed pay attention to variety of news sources –Attend meetings/rallies/events –Advertise for candidate/party/idea buttons, signs, decals, stickers, etc. –Contribute to campaign

17 Campaigns Traditional vs. “Professional” Campaigns –More expertise media consultants pollsters strategists communications directors fundraisers –More expensive

18 Campaigns Better financed campaigns generally have a better chance of success –They can hire better talent –They can buy advertising to rebut or make charges –They can extend the campaign longer and respond to changes in the election atmosphere Efforts to curtail influence of money in campaigns began in earnest with post-Watergate reforms

19 Campaigns 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act –Public financing of presidential elections –Limits on spending if accept public finance –Created Federal Election Commission Federal Election Commission –Required candidates and donors to report donations to the FEC, with caps now on donations –Required candidates and donors to establish Political Action Committees (PACs) to handle money end of the campaigns –Limited amount of personal wealth candidates could spend

20 Campaigns Buckley vs. Valeo (1976) –restrictions on personal spending violate the First Amendment –caps on contributions, however, do not –federal finance of campaign do not, as long as it is voluntary (that is, candidates can opt to accept the money -- and the limits -- or not)

21 Campaigns Loopholes within the FECA –No limits on donations to party (“soft money”) –No limits on party spending for “get out the vote” drives (“soft money”) –No limits on number of political action committees –“bundling”

22 Campaigns 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA)BCRA –Closed soft money loophole –Raised the limits on PAC contributions and other donations –Bans “group sponsored” ads 30 days prior to a primary and 60 days prior to general election

23 Campaigns Loopholes –PACs can raise unlimited amounts of money –527 Organizations -- nonprofit issue advocacy groups

24 Elections Types of Elections –National and State Level Primary General –State Only Initiative: Citizen initiated legislation Referendum: Voters asked to approve legislation Recall: Voters asked to retain/remove official from office Ratification: Voters asked to approve constitutional changes

25 Voting Paradox Recall, democratic theory predicated on the idea that somehow the vote reveals “the will of the people” That means we need to be able to move from individual preferences to something like a “social preference” The winner of the election is in some meaningful sense reflective of what “the people” want

26 Voting Paradox Yet as we examine the various voting systems put forth in the world we need to keep in mind some conceptual problems with voting theory It may not be possible to move from individual to group preferences smoothly or meaningfully

27 Voting Systems Plurality (one person, one vote, most votes win) Majority (one person, one vote, winner needs a majority of votes cast Ranked (voters rank their candidate preferences Non ranked (voters simply express a preference in a vote)

28 Ranked Systems Majority Preferential (Sequential Elimination) –Winning candidate needs to have a majority of votes –Voters rank candidates from most preferred to least preferred –Count everybody’s first place votes, if no candidate has a majority, eliminate the lowest vote-getter and transfer votes to next candidate on each voter’s preference list

29 Ranked Systems Borda Count –Voters rank candidates, most preferred to least preferred –Point values are assigned for each position –Add the point values for each candidate and candidate with most points wins

30 ABCDEE DEBCBC EDEEDD CCDBCB BAAAAA 18 12 10 9 42 First Choice Second Choice Third Choice Fourth Choice Fifth Choice Number of Delegates

31 Other Systems Approval Voting –Voters receive “x” number of votes, corresponding to the number of candidates in the election e.g., if 3 candidates, voters get 3 votes –Voters allocate those votes however they want among the candidates –Winning candidate is the one with the most votes

32 Other Systems Negative Voting –Voters receive one vote, but that vote can be either a vote for (+) or a vote against (-) a candidate –Voters cast a single ballot (+ or - ) –Winning candidate is the one with the most votes

33 Other Systems Weighted Voting –Voters receive extra votes based on some predetermined relevant criteria –Voters cast a single ballot with all their votes to a single candidate –Winning candidate is the one with the most votes

34 Methods of Voting Secret vs. Public Ballot –Australian or secret ballot introduced in U.S. in the 1880s –Prior to that, ballots were colored coded by party –Voters asked for the ballot of a particular party

35 Methods of Voting Elections are the responsibility of state, rather than the federal government States then give that power to counties to determine election protocol –voter registration –polling places –ballot design –voting method

36 Methods of Voting Ballot Design and Voting 2000 ballot in West Palm Beach, Florida

37 Methods of Voting 2004 Ballot in Cuyahoga County, Ohio

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