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The Electoral Process The Electoral Process begins with nominations.

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Presentation on theme: "The Electoral Process The Electoral Process begins with nominations."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Electoral Process The Electoral Process begins with nominations.
The naming of those who will seek office The nominating process is the critical step in the election process because those who make nominations place real, practical limits on the choices that voters can make in an election.

2 Nominations Nominations are made in five ways in the United States
By Self-announcement Through a Caucus At a Convention Through Direct Primaries By Petition

3 Self-Announcement Often found at small, rural levels in many parts of the country. A person who wants to run simply announces that fact. Sometimes required that someone else must make the announcement. Sometimes used by someone who failed to win a regular party nomination or by someone unhappy with the party’s choice. Write-In candidates often run after self-announcement.

4 The Caucus A group of like-minded people who meet to select the candidates they will support in an upcoming election. In the 1800s parties used their congressional caucuses to choose presidential nominees. The main complaint of these choices was about their closed and unrepresentative character. Today, caucuses are open to all members of a party, and it only faintly resembles the original closed and private process.

5 The Convention As caucuses lost popularity, conventions grew.
Party’s members meet at a local caucus to pick candidates for local offices and at the same time select delegates to represent them at a county convention. At the county convention, delegates nominate candidates for county offices and select delegates to the State convention. At the State convention, delegates statewide candidates and pick delegates to attend the national convention The national convention chooses nominees for president and vice president.

6 Direct Primary A direct primary is an intra-party election.
It is held within a party to pick the party’s candidates for general election. Two kinds of primaries Open primary – open to all voters, regardless of party. Closed primary – open to only voters registered with the party hosting the primary.

7 Closed Primaries Arguments in favor of a closed primary:
Prevents one party from “raiding” the other party’s primary to nominate the weaker candidate. Helps make candidates more responsive to the party, its platform, and its members Helps make voters more thoughtful because they must choose between the parties in order to vote in the primaries. Arguments against closed primaries: Compromises the secrecy of the ballot because it forces voters to make their party preferences known in public. It tends to exclude independent voters from the nomination process

8 Evaluation of Primaries
Many voters resent having to declare their party preference. “Bedsheet” ballots are often too long There is a lack of participation in primaries Primary campaigns are too expensive Very divisive to parties.

9 Petition Used fairly widely at the local level in American politics.
Candidates for public office are nominated by means of petitions signed by a certain required number of qualified voters in the election district.

10 Elections Election day in the United States, is generally the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Some Americans participate in voting early because they either know they will be away from home on election day, are too ill or disabled to make it to their polling place, or are serving in the armed forces. This is called absentee voting, and must be applied for in advance. Others are allowed by their state to participate in early voting. In an effort to make voting more convenient and increase voter turn-out, several states allow voters to cast ballots at polling locations over a period of several days before an election.

11 The Coattail Effect The Coattail Effect 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.

12 Precincts and Polling Places
Precinct – a voting district Smallest geographic unit for conducting elections. Generally made up of no more than 500 to 1,000 voters. Polling Place – the place where voters who live in a precinct actually vote. Precinct Election Board – supervises the polling place and voting process. Opens and closes the polls. Ensure that the ballots and ballot boxes or voting machines are available. Makes certain only qualified voters cast ballots. Responsible for delivering results or data to the county clerks office.

13 Casting the Ballot Australian Ballot Office Group Ballot
Printed at the public’s expense Lists the names of all candidates in an election Is given out only at the polls, one to each qualified voter Is marked in secret Office Group Ballot The candidates for an office are grouped together under the title of that office Party-Column Ballot Lists each party’s candidates in a column under the party’s name

14 Money and Elections Campaign Spending Private Sources of Funding
This biggest problem with campaign spending is that no one really knows how much money is spent on elections in the United States. Private Sources of Funding Small contributors make small and sporadic donations. Only about 10% of people donate to campaigns Wealthy Individuals and families find it in their best interest to donate to campaigns

15 Private Sources of Funding (cont.)
Candidates, both incumbents and challengers, will use their own money. In 1992 Ross Perot spent $65 million of his own money. Nonparty groups, such as political action committees (PACs,) who represent special interest groups, will donate money to benefit their cause. Temporary organizations emerge with the specific purpose of raising money for political campaigns.

16 The Federal Election Commission (FEC)
The FEC was established in 1974 as an independent agency in the executive branch to administer federal campaign laws. Disclosure Requirements Candidates must file the names of contributors and amounts of all donations to the campaign of over $200 and all expenditures over $200.

17 FEC Limits on Contributions
No candidate may receive more than $5200 from one individual in a primary No person may give more than $5200 to a single candidate in a general election campaign No limit on what a person may give in a year to a PAC or to a national committee

18 FEC Neither corporations or other interest groups can contribute to any candidate, so they form PACs to donate for them. No PAC can give more than $5,200 to any one candidate in an election PACs may also donate $15,000 to a political party PACs donated $400 million to campaigns in 2000.

19 Buckley v. Valeo The Supreme Court ruled that one’s use of money is protected by the 1st Amendment’s freedom of speech clause. “money is speech” Made FEC limits on campaign donations unconstitutional in elections as long as the candidate was not receiving a public subsidy.

20 Public Funds Candidates for president may receive a public subsidy to help pay for election costs. To receive money in the preconvention campaign, candidates must raise at least $100,000 on their own, consisting of at least $5,000 on 20 states Meant to discourage frivolous candidates During the 2000 election, major party candidates received $67.6 million By accepting this money, candidates agreed to spend no more than the subsidy and to not accept campaign funds from any other source. Third parties may also receive a subsidy if they won at least 5% of the popular vote in the last presidential election, or win at least 5% in the current election.

21 Loopholes in the Law Soft Money Independent Campaign Spending
Money given to state and local party organizations for voting related activities, not to candidates. Made illegal by the McCain-Feingold Act (2002) Independent Campaign Spending A person or group that participates in a campaign entirely on its own, with no connection to a candidate or party Issue Ads Ads that feature the issues that people care about and don’t endorse a particular candidate.


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