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Political Participation. Voter Turnout Measured 3 ways (2008/2010 elections): Voting Age Population = 57% / 38% Voting Eligible Population = 61% / 41%

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Presentation on theme: "Political Participation. Voter Turnout Measured 3 ways (2008/2010 elections): Voting Age Population = 57% / 38% Voting Eligible Population = 61% / 41%"— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Participation

2 Voter Turnout Measured 3 ways (2008/2010 elections): Voting Age Population = 57% / 38% Voting Eligible Population = 61% / 41% Registered Voters = 63% (2000) Is low voter turnout bad, or is it a sign of good political health? Scroll down for turnout for specific elections

3 Two Methods of Calculating Turnout in Presidential Elections,

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6 Voter turnout in United States presidential elections

7 Limiting the Franchise Literacy Test (Reading or Civics Test) Poll Tax (Pay to vote) …what about poor whites? Grandfather Clause (Could your ancestors vote before 1867?) White Primary (party members only) Intimidation, Threats & Custom

8 Expanding the Franchise Property Requirements (ended 1820s) 15 th Amendment (…race, color, or previous condition of servitude – 1870) 17 th Amendment (Senators – 1913) 19 th Amendment (Women – 1920) General Citizenship Act (Native Americans – 1924) 26 th Amendment (18–21 year olds – 1971)

9 Enforcing the 15 th Amendment Supreme Court Rulings  1915 – NO Grandfather Clause  1944 – NO White Primary (Smith v. Allwright)  1949 – Restricted use of Literacy Tests Voting Rights Act of 1965  NO Literacy Tests  Federal examiners can register voters  Justice Dept. must approve voting changes in districts with a history of discrimination  Criminal penalties for individual violators

10 Measuring Participation Non-Participants (22%)  Trend: young, little education, lower income, many African Americans* Parochial Participants & Communalists  Get involved in local issues only Voting Specialists & Campaigners Activists (11%)  Trend: middle-age, high education, higher income

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12 Causes of Participation Education… why?  High levels of political information, OR  “learning about politics is easier and more gratifying” (1982 study in Who Votes?) Religious Involvement  Social connection, awareness of issues Social Class – Poor vote less frequently

13 Causes of Participation Race  Whites vote more frequently, BUT…  At the SAME level of income & schooling, BLACKS vote MORE often  Hispanics participate at low levels Age (18-24 = about 30-40% vote)  VOTING increases with age

14 8 | 14 Electoral/Nonelectoral Political Participation Among Anglo Whites, African Americans, and Latinos Adapted from Sidney Verba, Kay Lehman Scholzman, Henry Brady, and Norman H. Nie, Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995).

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16 Forms of Participation Americans participate MORE frequently than Europeans  Civic Activities = participation  European elections = infrequent Young Adults  Volunteering at record rates  Community Service = good; Politics = bad

17 Nonpolitical Voluntary Activity


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