2Qualifying to Vote Voting is a major responsibility. Those who choose not to participate.Fail to carry out a civic responsibilityHand over their share of political power to voters whose views they may oppose.
3Qualifying to VoteDuring our nation’s early years, most voters were white, adult property owning males.However, property ownership is no longer a consideration and the U.S. Constitution states that no state may deny the right to vote because of race, color, gender or age.
4Qualifying to VoteTo be eligible you must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of the state you vote in for a specified period of time, and a citizen of the United StatesPeople who have been convicted of serious crimes are the most common exception to the general rules and many times lose their right to vote
5Voter RegistrationYou must register to vote before you can take part in an election in most states.Exception: North DakotaRegistration applications may vary from state to state
6Voter RegistrationIn order to register in the state of Florida you must:Be a citizen of the United StatesBe a legal resident of both the state of Florida and of the county in which you seek to be registered.Be 18 years old (can pre-register)Be mentally capable of making decisions.Not have been convicted of a felonyRegister at least 29 days before the election takes place.
7Voter RegistrationThe application process involves filling out forms that ask for the following information:NameAddressAgeParty reference – this is not a lifetime commitment
8Voter RegistrationOnce registered, you are assigned to an election district that is usually set up according to your home address. (precinct)On Election Day, election officials will use a list of voters registered in the district to verify that people who vote are eligible to prevent people voting more than once.
9Steps in VotingOn Election Day, voters go to the polling place in their precinct.A polling place is the location where voting is carried out.A precinct is a voting district.Usually set up in town halls, libraries, community centers and other public buildings.
10Steps in VotingWhen you arrive you will go through a series of checks to confirm your identity, and confirm you are registered to vote.Next you will receive a ballot, or list candidates on which you cast your vote.
11Steps in VotingYou will then go to the voting booth to cast your ballot by using a variety of voting methods.All types of voting methods allow voters to cast a secret ballot.You can vote by absentee ballot if you cannot get to the polls on Election Day.For all elections in which there a state or federal office race, early voting is required. Early voting usually starts 10 days before the election and ends on the 3rd day before an election. The Supervisor of Elections determines the hours.It is always important to read the ballot carefully.
12Steps in VotingIn the 2000 Presidential Election, many voters in Palm Beach county, Florida were confused with the “butterfly ballot”, a paper ballot in which opposing candidates were listed across from each other instead of vertically. The 200 election also proved that some voting machines are more reliable than others.
13Steps in VotingStraight ticket, which means voting for all candidates in one political party.Split ticket, which means you choose some candidates from one party and some from another.
14Steps in VotingAfter the polls are closed, elections workers send the ballots and the results – called returns – to the election board.The board then sends the returns to the state canvassing authority who then certifies the election of the winner.Major elections may have the news media and party workers try to predict the winners as soon as possible.Exit polls – a sample of voters who are asked how they voted upon leaving selected polling places.
15Why your Vote MattersThe best way to prepare to vote is to stay informed about candidates and public issues.All people who are eligible to vote are the electorate.2000 Presidential election was decided by 537 votes in the state of Florida
16Why your Vote MattersBush/Gore Election George W. Bush won the 2000 election with 271 electoral votes. The State of Florida was instrumental due to the recount process in which Bush was awarded the 25 electoral votes.
17Why your Vote MattersDespite the fact that voting gives Americans a chance to participate in their government, not everyone votes.
18Reasons Why People Choose Not to Vote Do not meet state voting requirementsNot registered after changings residencesDo not like any of the candidatesLack of interest, or apathy
19Important Reasons to Exercise Your Vote A chance to choose your government leadersAn opportunity to voice your opinions on past performances of public officialsExpress your opinion on public issues.
21Types of Election General Elections Elections are a two-part process Primary Election – help narrow the field of candidates. This is also known as a Direct Primary when the voters declare their party preference and nominate candidates to represent their party in a general election.
22Types of ElectionsOpen Primary – an election in which voters need not declare their party preferenceClosed Primary – only declared members of a party are allowed to vote for that party’s nominees.
23Types of ElectionsGeneral Election – voters choose their leaders for various offices such as President, Congress members, and State and Local positionsAlways takes place the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.All seats in the US House of Representatives and about 1/3 of the Senate are at stake in general elections every even-numbered year.
24General ElectionPresidential elections occur every four years and even numbered years.The ballot also includes candidates for governor, state legislature, county government, and local offices.
25General ElectionIn all races EXCEPT the Presidential race, the candidate who wins the majority is elected into the office.During the 2010 election for Florida Governor: Rick Scott won 49% of the popular vote or 2,589,915 vs. 2,522,857 votes.
26General ElectionsThe loser does have the right to demand a recount of the votes.In the case of a national election, a dispute may be referred to Congress.If it is a Presidential Election and there is not a majority of the electoral votes for 1 candidate, the House of Representatives elects the President.
27Election of 1800 Election of 1800 - Neither Thomas Jefferson (Democratic Republican) nor Aaron Burr (Democratic Republican) had a majority of Electoral votes. Since there was no clear winner, it went to the House of Representatives for a vote. After more than 30 votes by the House of Representatives, Jefferson was declared President.
28Andrew Jackson v. John Quincy Adams Election of 1824-Due to others involved in the election there was not a clear majority of the Electoral College. Jackson defeated Adams in both the popular and electoral votes, but the House voted to name Adams president. Jackson’s side declared it a “corrupt bargain” because they felt that Henry Clay and Adams ha made a secret deal to allow Adams to win if Clay received a job in the administration.
29Elections on IssuesVoters may decide on issues – amendments and/or new laws – as well as candidatesThe initiative is a way citizens can propose new laws or state constitutional amendments.Citizens gather signatures of voters on petitions.If enough people sign the petition, the proposed law or proposition, is put on the ballot at the next general election.Florida’s State Constitution authorizes citizens to propose State Constitutional Amendments by petition.
30Elections on IssuesA referendum is a way for citizens to approve or reject a state or local law. More than half of the states have the right to petition to have a law referred or sent back to the voters for their approval.The State of Florida CAN NOT propose state laws or bring acts by the legislature to referendum (People’s veto) by petition.
31Special ElectionsRunoff elections may be held when none of the candidates win the majority of the vote in a general electionRecall elections are when citizens can vote to remove a public official from office.
33NominationNomination - the process in which political parties select and offer candidates for public officePresidential hopefuls start campaigning a year or more before the electionNow, due to so much campaigning going on during the primary elections, conventions are now used to “kick off” the campaign and rally parties.
34CampaignCampaign – the process in which candidates are competing for public office using media, debates, and speeches.Usually in full swing by SeptemberTravel to give speeches, TV appearances, and news conferencesMeet with state and local political leaders or face their opponents in televised debates.
35The Vote and Electoral College This process uses the winner-take-all system and is how a Presidential candidate is elected for office.Presidents are not chosen by direct popular vote but by the Electoral College.
36The Vote and Electoral College Before the general election in every state, a slate, or list of electors is pledged to each candidate.Every state has one elector per U.S. Senator and Representative in that state.PLUS Washington, D.C. has three electoral votesThe State of Florida currently has 29 electoral votes.
37The Vote and Electoral College Through a winner-take-all system, the candidate who wins the popular vote in a state usually receives all of the state’s electoral votes.There are 48 states that have the winner-takes-all rule for the electoral college.Nebraska and Maine do not follow this rule – there could be a slit of electoral votes through the State’s system for proportional allocation of votes.
38The Vote and The Electoral College Electors meet in December to cast the state’s electoral votes for the President and Vice PresidentThe votes are then sent to Congress, who counts them.The candidate who receives the majority (270 or more) of the 538 votes – wins the election
39The Vote and Electoral College The Electoral College was a compromise measure and is as old as the ConstitutionSome Founders wanted the American people to have direct control or a direct popular election.Others believed that the government must be able to function without giving in to popular whims or giving Congress the responsibility to name the President.
40Voting and the Electoral College The compromise was to have the Legislatures in each state choose a slate of Presidential Electors.Today voters in each state directly choose the Electors.
41Election Controversies Four elections where the popular vote did not agree with the Electoral VoteAdams/Jackson 1824Hayes/Tilden Election 1876 – Tilden won the popular vote. Twenty Electoral Votes were in dispute and not counted. After a long political and legal battle, Rutherford B. Hayes was awarded those 20 Electoral Votes and named President.
42Elections Controversies Harrison/Cleveland Election 1888 – Grover Cleveland won the popular vote by a narrow margin, however Benjamin Harrison swept most of the North and Midwest as well as gaining “swing states” of New York and Indiana to achieve the majority of the electoral vote.Bush/Gore Election 2000 – Gore had more than 500,000 votes over Bush, but Bush had 271 to Gore’s 267 votes in the Electoral College with Florida (that he won by 537 votes.)