2 A Closer Look at Nonvoting The Problem? –50% of Americans vote in Presidential Election,35%-40% in Congressional ElectionsIn Europe 80% vote in most electionsApathy the cause or are we just plain lazy?This info is slightly exaggerated -1984 Survey Says - voting age population turnout52.6% Registered voters 86.8%86.8% clearly rules out apathy as a causeThe real problem low percentage of adults are registered to vote
3 A Closer Look at Nonvoting Apathy?I don’t care about apathy.The book says a cause is the high cost to register to vote. Congressional solution Motor Voter (Mixed results in states) Republicans 95% oppose Motor Voter Democrats 95% approveHelp America Vote Act - Republican “scheme”
4 In this painting, we see the judge (top center) administering an oath to a voter. The voter (in red) is swearing, with his hand on the bible, that he is entitled to vote and has not already done so. There was no system of voter registration, so this oath and the possibility that the judge or someone else in the vicinity of the polls might recognize him if he came back was all that prevented a voter from voting again and again.
6 The first official use of a lever type voting machine, known then as the "Myers Automatic Booth," occurred in Lockport, New York in Four years later, they were employed on a large scale in the city of Rochester, New York, and soon were adopted statewide. By 1930, lever machines had been installed in virtually every major city in the United States, and by the 1960’s well over half of the Nation’s votes were being cast on these machines.
7 The Rise of the American Electorate white male landowners1829 Andrew Jackson expanded the electorate to include all adult males 21+Most other minorities and women in most states continued to not have suffrageYou cannot vote if convicted of a felony or if former occupation is a Confederate General
8 From State to Federal Control Elections were a mess at first –Congressional candidates were picked by district, at large, plurality, majority, even/odd yearsFederal government steps in to create control – Districts only, even years, majority vote, first Tuesday in November.
9 From State to Federal Control 15th Amendment – States cannot deny the right to vote19th Amendment – Women gain suffrage17th Amendment - direct election of Senators by the electorate23rd Amendment - District of Columbia gets to vote for the President24th Amendment - no poll taxes in federal elections26th Amendment - 18 year-olds get the right to vote (Vietnam War is the key issue)Literacy tests, Poll Tax, Grandfather Clause, White Primaries
10 Voter Turn OutBetween 50%-60% turn out still very low Theory 1 – Really… no one cares, political parties are to similarIn the late 1800’s Republican domination of national politics made races boring Statistics are very skewed because “vote early vote often” applied (Boss Tweed)Australian Ballot – Government Printed Standardized ballot more and more regulations made voting more burdensome
11 Who Participates in Politics? Forms of Participation 22% - Completely inactive - Do nothing (poor, uneducated, young, usually A.A.) Voting Specialists – Vote but do little else (older, less schooling, poorer) Campaigners – get involved in campaigns, know what they want and how the side Communalists – very involved in community but not politics (to much conflict) Parochial Participants – don’t vote but feel the need to contact elected officials 11% - Activists - Do everything (well educated, high incomes, middle aged
20 The Causes of Participation People with more schooling more likely to vote Churchgoers vote moreMen and women vote the same Whites vote more than AAIn equal socio-economic backgrounds, blacks vote more (A.A have less faith in the system)If AA all came out and voted, the power structure in America would shift
22 The Meaning of Participation Rates Percentages are lower here than other countries however we hold more elections and elect more representatives than any other countryAmericans also participate more in the political process here than abroad
23 Summary Americans do not vote – false Americans do not register to vote – trueOnce registered age, race and party organization determine ratesSchooling and information are most powerful determinationsIf you depend on the youth of this nation to vote you will lose