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Voting and Elections Who can vote? Anyone over the age of 18, a resident of the state and a US citizen. People who have been convicted of serious crimes.

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Presentation on theme: "Voting and Elections Who can vote? Anyone over the age of 18, a resident of the state and a US citizen. People who have been convicted of serious crimes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voting and Elections Who can vote? Anyone over the age of 18, a resident of the state and a US citizen. People who have been convicted of serious crimes are the most common exception. Most states deny them this right until they have served their prison sentences.

2 Voter Registration Most states require registration to be complete at least 25 days before the election. *National Voter Registration Act- 1995 (AKA the Motor Voter Act) allows people to register when they renew their driver’s licenses. Once registered you are assigned to an election district.

3 Steps in Voting Polling place- is the location where voting is carried out. Precinct- is a voting district. Ballot- is the list of candidates on which you can cast your vote. Once you are at your polling place, in your precinct, you go to the clerk’s table. Once there you will write your name and address on an application form and usually sign it. After the clerk reads it aloud it is passed to the challenger’s table to make sure that you are eligible to vote.

4 Casting a Vote Once at the voting booth, you hand your application form to an *election judge. Voting a *straight ticket- means voting for all the candidates from one party. Voting a *split ticket- means that you voted for both parties. Absentee ballot- allows a person to vote without going to the polls on Election Day. Returns- ballots and results of the polling place are sent to the election board. Then results are sent to the state canvassing authority that declares the winner.

5 Casting a Vote Exit polls- are surveys taken at polling places of how people have voted. All the people that are eligible to vote are called the *electorate. Many people do not vote because they have a lack of interest, *apathy.

6 Election Campaign Besides primary elections, there are 3 types of elections in the US. General Elections- the voters choose candidates for various offices. This occurs after the primary races narrow the fields of candidates. Always takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

7 Election Campaign All the seats in the US House of Reps. And about 1/3 seats in the Senate are at stake in general elections every even-numbered year. The candidate who wins a majority of the popular vote is elected to office. (Except for the President.) If it is a presidential election and neither candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the House of Reps. will elect the President.

8 Voting on Issues *Initiative- is a way that citizens can propose new laws or state constitutional amendments. If enough people sign the petition, the proposed law, or *proposition, is put on the ballot at the next general election. The *referendum is a way for citizens to approve or reject a state or local law.

9 Special Elections *Runoff elections- may be held when none of the candidates for a particular office wins a majority of the vote in the general election. The *recall is another type of special election where citizens can vote to remove a public official from office. This also starts with a petition. Voters can recall an official b/c they do not like their position on the issues or, b/c the official has been charged with wrongdoing.

10 Presidential Election Have three major steps: 1. Nominations- delegates have to vote on candidates to nominate them. 2. Campaign - usually are in full swing by September. Candidates travel through the country, are on TV, giving speeches and finding more support for them.

11 Presidential Election 3. The Vote and the Electoral College *Electoral College- in every state a slate, or list, of electors is pledged to each candidate. The purpose of the popular vote in each state is to choose one of these state electors. The candidate who wins the popular vote in the state usually receives all of the states electoral votes. This is called a *winner-take-all system.

12 Presidential Election The winning electors meet in their state capitals in December to cast the state’s electoral votes. Total number of electors is 538. Majority of 270 wins the election. The candidate who loses the popular vote can still win the electoral vote and the presidency. Also a 3rd party candidate could win enough votes to prevent either major-party candidate from receiving a majority.

13 Paying for Election Campaigns Campaign workers use several techniques to accomplish their goals: Canvassing Endorsements *Propaganda- is an attempt to promote a particular person or idea. Advertising and Image Molding Campaign Expenses

14 Financing a Campaign *Federal Election Campaign Act 1971- established the main rules for campaign finance today. Public Funding - major source of $ is the Presidential Election Campaign Fund created by the 1971 law. Private Funding -Most funding does not come from public sources. Private sources provide campaign funds and include individual citizens, party org, and corporations. Special interest groups also donate funds to candidates.

15 Financing a Campaign *Soft Money- is donations given to political parties and not designated for a particular candidate’s election campaign. Most goes to funding national TV ads. The 1971-campaign finance law also led to the growth of political action committees. (PACs) *Political action committees- are political organizations est. by corporations. Labor unions and other special interest groups designed to support political candidates by contributing money. *Incumbents- are politicians who have already been elected to office.


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