5 Stages of Widening Suffrage 1. Elimination of property ownership/tax payments 2. 15 th Amendment (1870)-All males 3. 19 th Amendment (1920)-Women in every state 4. Civil rights Acts (1960s) 5. 26 th Amendment (1971)-18 yr olds
States set requirements for voting Constitution provides some limits on this power.
Limits on states power to set voting qualification 1. If qualify for one election, then must be able to vote in every election 2. Must uphold the 15 th Amendment 3. Must uphold the 19 th Amendment 4. Cannot charge a poll tax 5. Voting age cannot be set above 18 years old
Voting Requirements Citizenship Residency: must live in state from 10-50 days 1. Prevent importing votes 2. Give ppl time to know candidates and issues Age Registration: Discourages fraud No longer Used: Poll Tax Literacy Tests
Persons Denied Voting Rights 1. Mental Patients 2. Felons 3. Dishonorably discharged from military (Some States).
Gerrymandering Drawing electoral lines to limit the voting power of a certain group.
Attempts to prevent blacks from voting Violence-KKK members Violence-KKK members Fired from jobs Fired from jobs Poll taxes-Outlawed by 24 th Amendment- upheld Harper v. Virginia Board of Election (1966). Poll taxes-Outlawed by 24 th Amendment- upheld Harper v. Virginia Board of Election (1966). Literacy tests-Outlawed by 1970 CRA- Upheld Oregon v. Mitchell (1970). Literacy tests-Outlawed by 1970 CRA- Upheld Oregon v. Mitchell (1970). “White Primaries”-Outlawed by Smith v. Allwright (1944). “White Primaries”-Outlawed by Smith v. Allwright (1944). Gerrymandering-Outlawed by Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960). Gerrymandering-Outlawed by Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960).
Civil Rights Acts 1957-Set up Civil Rights Commission-Investigate discrimination 1960-Est. use of “referees” to oversee booths where discrimination was found. 1964-Forbid use of registration and literacy tests in unfair manner. Used court injunctions. 1965-Made 15 th Amend. reality-no new election laws unless given preclearance by Dept of Justice. Upheld by South Carolina v. Katzenbach.
Off-Year Elections Congressional elections held in the even-numbered years b/w presidential elections.
Ballot Fatigue As voters go farther down the ballot the less knowledge and patience they have.
Why People Don’t Vote “Cannot Voters” Resident Aliens Physically Disabled Traveling Emergency Against Religion Nonvoters Low- Political Efficacy Factors: Registration Long Ballots/Lines Time-Zone Fallout Lack of Interest
Voters vs. Nonvoters Voters Higher levels of income, education, and jobs. Higher levels of income, education, and jobs. Involved in community Involved in community Strong sense of Party ID Strong sense of Party ID Believe voting is important Believe voting is important Might live in area of high competition b/w 2 parties Might live in area of high competition b/w 2 parties Nonvoters Usually under 35 yrs old Unmarried Unskilled Probably live in South and in rural areas
Why do you vote for them??? Education Religion Family Age Race Income Occupation
2/3 of voters vote as their parents. 9/10 Married Couples align themselves with the same party Party Identification- strongest indicator of how someone will vote
Republicans College Graduates Men Higher Incomes Professional/Business People Older Voters Protestants Live in the Burbs
Democrats Lower Income Brackets Manual Workers High School Grads Women Younger Voters Catholics and Jews Minorities Live in North East Cities
Split-Ticket Voting: Voting for MORE THAN ONE party in an election Straight-Ticket Voting: Voting for ONE party in an election.
Independents 25-35% of voters today are independents. Usually young, higher-education, income, and job level.
The Nomination Process Nomination-naming of those who will seek office First Step in election process 5 Ways to Nominate a Candidate…
Nominating a Candidate Self-Announcement Oldest Form Simply announces intentions Write-in is considered Self- Announcement
Nominating a Candidate Caucus Group of like-minded ppl who meet to select candidate for election Ended in 1824 with election of Andrew Jackson
Nominating a Candidate Convention Replaced Caucus Too many possible nominees to work Replaced by Direct Primary
Nominating a Candidate Direct Primary Intra-Party election. Voter turnout-1/2 of general election Two Forms: Closed/Open 1. Closed-must declare membership 2. Open-Any qualified voter
Pro’s/Con’s of Closed Primary Pro’s Prevents other party from sabotaging other Makes candidates more loyal and responsible to party Makes voters more decisive b/c have to choose to vote Con’s Prevents secrecy for voting b/c must declare party Excludes independent voters from nomination process
Run-Off Primary Two top vote getters in first party primary face off, and the winner of that vote becomes nominee.
Nominating a Candidate Petition Nominated by signatures Used mostly at local level. The higher the office, the more signatures required to get on ballot.
Federal Voting Law Pwrs- Constitution give pwr to fix times, places, and manner of holding elections.
Voting Dates Congressional elections-first Tuesday following first Monday in November of every even-numbered year. Same date for presidential elections. Prevents election from falling on first of month (payday).
Early Voting Absentee Voting-Apply for ballot if: 1) Too ill or disabled 2) Expect to be away from home on election day 3) Serving in armed forces. Have to mail in ballot.
Coattail Effect Strong candidate running at top of ballot attracts voters to other candidates of same party.
Precinct-smallest geographic unit for conducting elections Polling Places-Place where the voters who live in a precinct vote.
Ballot: device by which a voter registers a choice in an election. FYI: State law requires that ballots be cast in such a manner that others cannot know how a person voted.
Types of Ballots (Pg. 191) 1) Australian Ballot- basic form of US ballots today Printed at public expense Lists names of all candidates in election Give one to each qualified voter Marked in secret 2) Office-Group Ballot- candidates for an office are grouped together under title of that office. 3) Party-Column Ballot- lists each party’s candidates in a column under party’s name. Encourages straight- ticket voting. 4) Bedsheet Ballot- lengthy ballot.
Voting Machines Thomas Edison invented first voting machine in US. Advantages: 1. Do away w/ manual counting 2. Reduce # of ppl needed to administer elections 3. Speed up voting process 4. Increase # of voters precincts can handle 5. Make ballot mutilation impossible 6. Minimize fraud and counting errors
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) : involves punch-card ballots, which are counted by computers
Mail-in Ballots Voters receive a ballot in mail, make choice, then mail back to election officials. Threatens voter secrecy, fraud possibility. Increases voter turn-out and reduces costs of administering elections.
Private and Public Sources Private: 1. Small Contributors- ppl give $5-10 to campaigns 2. Wealthy individuals- lrg donations to campaigns 3. Candidates- spend own money or family’s $ 4. Nonparty groups- Political Action Committees (PACs) political arms of special-interest groups 5. Temp. organizations- group formed for purpose of campaign (fund raising). Public: 1. Public subsidies from federal/state treasuries.
Why people contribute $$$ Form of political participation Believe in party/candidate Want access to government Want appointments to public offices in return Want certain laws-passed, changed, repealed, or other actions taken
Federal Election Commission (FEC): Administers all fed law dealing w/ campaign finance. Set up in 1974.
Hard Money- Must be reported & has limits by FEC. Soft Money- gov. neither limits nor requires reporting of contributions.