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Voter Behavior Carl Johnson Government Jenks High School.

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Presentation on theme: "Voter Behavior Carl Johnson Government Jenks High School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voter Behavior Carl Johnson Government Jenks High School

2 Voters…We Have a Problem! In the 2008 Presidential election, only 58% of the eligible voters participated in the election (up from 56% in 2004) In off-year elections (Congressional elections held in the even numbered years between presidential elections), the percentage drops even more dramatically… Ballot fatigue is where voters choose not to vote in certain elections on the ballot –The further down the ballot an office is, the fewer the number of votes that will be cast for it.

3 Why Citizens Don’t Vote Some cannot vote on Election Day –Non citizens –Handicapped –Unexpectantly called away from home –Inmates –Mental Patients Some of the electorate feel that it doesn’t matter who wins –Status Quo –Alienated Voters (Scorn the System) Some of the electorate feel how they vote has no impact on what government does –Political Efficacy

4 Other Reasons Why Citizens Don’t Vote Cumbersome election procedures – Registration –Long lines at Polls –Bad Weather Time Zone Fallout –Blame the Media Lack of Interest –Biggest reason!

5 Comparing Voters/Non-Voters Characteristics of Voters –Higher levels of income –Well integrated into community life –Strong sense of party identification –Believe that act of voting is important Characteristics of Non Voters –Younger than 35 years old –Unmarried –Unskilled –Live in rural areas of the South –Women are more likely to vote than men The two party system has a big influence on elections –The greater the competition, the more participation

6 Sociological Factors Affecting Voter Behavior Income Occupation Education Gender Age Religious Background Ethnic Background Geography Family Background

7 Psychological Factors Affecting Voter Behavior Party Identification –Loyalty to one’s political party –Single most significant predictor of how one will vote –Has lost some of its impact due to split-ticket voting and the rise of independents Candidates/Issues –Image of candidate –Issues have been increasingly important especially since the era of the Vietnam War

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