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The Electoral Process.

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Presentation on theme: "The Electoral Process."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Electoral Process

2 The Nominating Process

3 Critical First Step Nomination – the naming of those who will seek office (5 ways) The process of candidate selection is a critically important step in the election process.

4 Importance Of How does the nominating process have a big impact on our right to vote? Nominating limits our choices in an election.

5 Importance of One-party constituencies (those areas where one party regularly wins elections). The nominating process usually is the only point at which there is any real contest for a public office.

6 Have to win (2) elections to win an office in most elections:
Primary election Democrats Republicans General Election

7 General Election What is a general election?
Regularly scheduled elections at which voters make the final selection.

8 Nomination Process Caucus Petition Direct Primary Convention
Self Announce Caucus Convention Direct Primary Petition

9 Self Announcement Self-announcement is the oldest form of the nominating process in American politics First used in colonial times, found today in small towns and rural areas.

10 Self Announcement Who uses this?
A person announces they want to run for office. Who uses this? Someone who failed to win their party’s nomination.

11 Caucus A group of like-minded people who meet to select the candidates they will support in an upcoming election. Originally the caucus was a private meeting consisting of a few influential figures in the community.

12 Caucus What happened when Political Parties started appearing?
Political parties began to broaden the membership of the caucus.

13 Caucus The legislative caucus is a meeting of a party’s members in the state or federal Congress – the legislators would choose who would run for office.

14 Caucus They were practical in their day because of transportation and communication issues. As democracy spread, why did opposition grow to the caucus? Critics felt they closed and unrepresentative in nature.

15 Caucus The caucus is still used to make local nominations (New England) and is open to all members of a party.

16 The Convention Anti-Mason Party in 1931
As the caucus method collapsed, the convention system took its place. Who had the 1st national convention to nominate a presidential candidate? Anti-Mason Party in 1931

17 Convention The process begins in local caucus and works its way up to through the country, state and then the national level. The convention system began to come under attack in the early 1900s and was to be replaced by another method.

18 Convention Party Bosses began to manipulate the process.
The convention system began to come under attack in the early 1900s and was to be replaced by another method.

19 First used in Wisconsin in 1903
Direct Primary A direct primary is an intra-party election to pick that party’s candidate for the general election. State laws require that the major parties use the primaries to choose their candidates for the Senate, House, governorship, etc. First used in Wisconsin in 1903

20 Closed Primary Party nominating election in which ONLY declared party members can vote. Party membership is established by registration. Found in 27 states

21 Open Primary Party nominating election in which ANY qualified voter can take part. Found in 23 states

22 Open Primary Through 2000, 3 states have used a different version of the open primary called the blanket primary

23 Blanket Primary California’s version was ruled Unconstitutional.
All voters receive same ballot and can vote for any party for any office they like. California’s version was ruled Unconstitutional.

24 Closed v Open Those who favor the closed primary argue:
It prevents one party from “raiding” the other’s primary in the hope of nominating a weaker candidate. Candidates are more responsive to the party and its members. How does it make voters more thoughtful? Voters must choose between the parties in order to vote in the primaries

25 Critics of Closed It compromises the secrecy of the ballot.
It tends to exclude independent voters from the nomination process.

26 Closed v Open Against Closed: For Closed:
Compromises secret ballot Tends to exclude independent voters from the nomination process For Closed: Prevents one party from raiding another party’s primary Makes candidates more responsive to party members Voters make more thoughtful in choosing a party

27 Run-off Primary Winner needs an absolute majority (more than 50%) Top 2 vote getters in the 1st primary “Run-Off” or face one another in a 2nd election.

28 Non-Partisan Primary These are elections in which candidates are not identified by party labels. Typically, a contender who wins a clear majority runs unopposed in the general election.

29 Evaluation of Primary The direct primary was intended to take the nominating function out of the hands of the party organization and give it to the party membership.

30 Evaluation of Primary A number of criticisms have been leveled at the direct primary: Closed vs. open arguments A tough primary fight can cost a lot of money, thus adding to cost running for office (this keeps well qualified people away)

31 Evaluation of Primary What is the ‘divisive effect’ on the party?
A bitter primary can weaken and divide a party for the general election. Many voters are not well informed on the candidates, so name familiarity is key because it gives a contender an edge.

32 Presidential Primary Is an election that is held as one part of the process by which presidential candidates are chosen. Very complex process.

33 Petition Mostly at the local level.
Nominating by means of petitions signed by a certain number of required qualified voters in the election district. When is this method used? Mostly at the local level.

34 Elections

35 Administration Democratic government cannot succeed unless elections are free, honest, and accurate. The lengthy and closely detailed provisions of the election law are meant to protect the integrity of the electoral process.

36 Federal Control Set the date of elections. Must have secret ballots.
Most election law in the US is State law, but the Constitution does give Congress some power over elections: Set the date of elections. Must have secret ballots. Amendments that deal with suffrage

37 Help America Vote Act Why did Congress pass the bill?
Election of 2000 Some of the major provisions of the bill: Replace lever-operated and punch-card voting devices by 2006 Upgrade administration of elections

38 Provisional Voting A voter’s eligibility has been challenged…but can vote and the voter’s qualification can be checked or verified later.

39 Election Day Congress set the date for national elections (Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November). Explanation of: Never on a Sunday (Church and state) 1st day of month is often payday (pressure from employer)

40 Early Voting Some states have allowed for early voting in an effort to increase voter turnout and make voting more convenient.

41 Absentee Ballot Voting by those unable to get to their regular polling places on election day. Designed for: Sick/Ill Disabled Away from home

42 Coattail Effect This occurs when a strong candidate running for an office at the top of the ballot helps attract voters to other candidates on the party’s ticket. Reverse Coattail: Candidate at top of ticket can HURT other party members.

43 Precinct A precinct is a voting district.
Smallest geographic units for elections. What are the sizes of precincts? 500 to qualified voters

44 Polling Place A polling place is the place where the voters who live in a precinct actually vote. A precinct election board supervises the polling place and voting process in each precinct.

45 Election Board IDENTIFY some of the responsibilities of the board:
Make sure only qualified voters vote. Machines work Count the votes

46 Poll Watchers One from each party : are allowed at each polling place.
They may challenge any voter they believe is not qualified. Check to be sure that their own party’s supporters do vote. Monitor the whole voting process, including the ballot count.

47 Ballot Define Ballot: A device used to record a voter’s choices.
Over the history of the United States voting has taken many shapes (voice, paper ballots) and corruption led to a demand for ballot reforms.

48 Secret Ballot Each State now provides for a secret ballot.
Ballots are cast in such a manner that others cannot know how a person voted.

49 Australian Ballot Printed at public expense
Lists names of all candidates Given out only at polls Marked in secret

50 Office Group Ballot Candidates are grouped on this ballot by office they are running for. Sometimes called the Massachusetts ballot because of its early use (1888) there.

51 Party Column Ballot Lists each party’s candidates in a column under the party’s name. Good: parties like because it promotes straight-ticket voting Bad: does not take much thought in the voting process.

52 Sample Ballot Can help voters prepare for an election.
They are mailed in some states and appear in newspapers in others.

53 Bedsheet Ballot The ballot in a typical American election is lengthy because it may list so many offices, candidates and ballot measures. Even the most informed voters had a difficult time marking it intelligently.

54 Bedsheet Ballot Origin of : Jacksonian Democracy in the 1830s
More offices meant more democratic the government was

55 Bad for Democracy Critics say it is hard to know the candidates and their qualifications on such a long ballot – thus it is bad for democracy.

56 Automated Voting Well over half the votes now cast in national elections are cast on some type of voting machine or electronic voting device. Describe the lever-operated machines: Pull one lever to open (unlock ballot) and another to close or actually vote

57 Electronic Counting Electronic data processing (EDP) techniques were first applied to the voting process in the 1960s. Punch-card ballots (counted by computers) were the most widely used.

58 Electronic Counting What was the major problem of the punch-card ballots? If voter failed to make clean punch, the result was a ‘hanging chad” that would not count as a vote.

59 Electronic Counting The use of punch- card ballots ended by 2006, due to the Help Americans Vote Act of after the presidential election mess.

60 Infamous Ballot

61 Voting Today What are most states now turning to for more efficient EDP- based voting systems? Touch screens or scantron like voting.

62 Vote-by-Mail OREGON A number of states conduct some elections by mail.
Voters receive a ballot in the mail, make their choices, and then mail the ballot back to election officials. Which state today conducts all of its elections by mail? OREGON

63 Vote by Mail Critics of: Threatens secret ballot
Threat of fraud from stolen ballots Supporters of: Just as fraud proof as any other method Increases voter turnout Saves money

64 Online Voting Casting ballots via the Internet has attracted considerable attention in the past few years. There have been some votes cast on- line in the past several years.

65 Online Voting Critics of: Digital disaster Hacker fraud Voter secrecy
Digital Divide Supporters of: Increase voter participation Increase turnout Reduce costs of voting

66 Money in Elections

67 Campaign Spending The presidential election eats up by the largest share of campaign dollars - $2 billion for primaries and general election in 2000. The cost of congressional campaigns also continues to climb each cycle.

68 Where does it go? Where is all this money being spent? Radio and TV
Campaign Staff Polls, mailings, web Office space Travel

69 Sources of Funding Private and Public Sources.
Private givers have always been the major sources of campaign funds and they come in various shapes and sizes:

70 Sources of Funding Individuals both small and wealthy What is a PAC?
Political Action Committee Political Arms of special interest groups

71 Sources of Funding Temporary organizations - groups formed for the immediate purpose of a campaign, including fund raising. How do parties attempt to raise money? Dinners, receptions and other fund raisers.

72 Why do People Give? Campaign donations are a form of political participation and those who make them do so for several reasons:

73 Why do People Give? They believe in a party or candidate.
Want something in return, maybe access to the government. Some big donors want appointments to public office, while others want to keep the ones they have. EXPLAIN the social recognition reason: Dinner at White House, meeting with Cabinet official, etc.

74 Regulating Campaign $$
Congress first began to regulate the use of money in federal election in 1907 and since then, Congress has passed major campaign finance laws. Congress does not have the power to regulate state and local elections – that is up to each individual state.

75 Federal Election Commission
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) administers all federal law dealing with campaign finance.

76 Origins It was set up in (after Watergate) and it an independent agency with 6 members. Why is it hard for the FEC to do an effective job? It is both underfunded and understaffed.

77 Disclosure Disclosure requirements are intended to spotlight the place of money in federal campaigns. What types of contributions are prohibited? Cash over $100, foreign contributions, in someone else’s name

78 Legal C0ntributions Made through a single campaign committee, which can only spend that candidate’s campaign money.

79 Legal C0ntributions All contributions and spending must be closely accounted for. What about the disclosure of contributions or loans? Any over $200 must be identified by source and date

80 Limits $2600 per election, per candidate
There are limits on how much an individual can give to a federal candidate. $2600 per election, per candidate

81 PAC $$$ Neither corporations nor labor unions can contribute to any candidate running for a federal office – but their PACs can and do. A PACs clout comes from their ability to raise campaign money and their willingness to give it to their “friends” who run for public office.

82 Supreme Court The Supreme Court decision on Buckley v. Valeo (1976) was key to the issue of spending limits. Why did the Supreme Court strike down spending limits? Free Speech issue with spending money.

83 Public Funding The 1971 Revenue Act allowed for everyone who files a federal income tax return to ‘check off’ $3 to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. The monies collected are used every four years to finance the following:

84 Public Funding Preconvention Campaigns National Conventions
Presidential Campaigns – unless candidate turns down $$$

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