Presentation on theme: "VOTING AND ELECTIONS. T YPES OF E LECTIONS Primary Election: Members of political parties nominate candidates Republicans can only vote for their favorite."— Presentation transcript:
T YPES OF E LECTIONS Primary Election: Members of political parties nominate candidates Republicans can only vote for their favorite republican, democrats for their favorite democrat, and independents cannot vote. General Election: All registered voters can vote for whomever they choose Initiatives, Referendums, Recalls Initiative: citizens petition to vote on a specific law or amendment Referendum: legislature asks citizens to vote on a specific law or measure Recall: citizens petition to vote on removing a politician from office Republican primary candidates No democratic primary
V OTING B ASICS Voters must register Why? Stop voter fraud Keep people from voting in elections that don’t affect them Party registration Voter I.D. Law – Pennsylvania Pro arguments? Con Arguments?
V OTING B ASICS ( CONT ’ D ) Federal Election Day – Tuesday after the first Monday in November Primary elections and local elections can be held anytime, but are usually in Spring States make laws covering voter registration Local Governments generally run elections Everyone is designated a polling place based upon where they live Different areas can have different ballot methods For example: Electronic Punch cards Lever machines Paper ballots
I NFLUENCING Y OUR V OTE Advertising Posters, Bumper Stickers, Yard Signs, etc… Personal Appearances Direct Mail Phone Calls Television/Radio Internet Ads PACs Political Action Committees Independent Special Interest groups who donate money to specific candidates or causes that support their views Federal law restricts how much money they can donate to candidates, but NOT how much they can spend campaigning on their own
I NFLUENCING Y OUR V OTE Propaganda Techniques Glittering Generalities Plain Folks/Family Bandwagon Transfer/Comparison Attack Ads: Card Stacking, Name Calling Celebrity Endorsement Humor? Media Bias
C AMPAIGN F INANCE Individual Donations Limited to $2500 per person Must report anyone who gives more than $200 Political Parties PACs FEDERAL CONTRIBUTION LIMITS
E LECTORAL C OLLEGE Allows States to elect President – Federalism Reflects how congress actually works Keeps small states involved Usually provides a clear majority (1992) Usually provides a more clear and certain result Prevents need for recounts or runoffs in close elections Popular choice can lose Disenfranchises voters in “safe” states Gives greater power to “swing” states Based upon political considerations that are no longer relevant Makes it difficult for a third party If no one gets to 270, House of Representatives decides ProsCons
E LECTORAL C OLLEGE Popular Vote Congressional District Method Maine and Nebraska Alternatives Other Ideas?
F AITHLESS E LECTORS All potential electors are appointed by the political parties or the presidential nominees When an elector casts a vote for someone other than the candidate to whom they are pledged, they are a faithless elector – this is rare Can happen on accident or on purpose 29 States have laws against this practice, though they have never been enforced Faithless electors risk retaliation from their party A faithless elector has never changed the result of an election