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Voting in the United States. The American Electorate Over 230 million people eligible to vote Not always that easy: Religious Qualifications (1810) Property.

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Presentation on theme: "Voting in the United States. The American Electorate Over 230 million people eligible to vote Not always that easy: Religious Qualifications (1810) Property."— Presentation transcript:

1 Voting in the United States

2 The American Electorate Over 230 million people eligible to vote Not always that easy: Religious Qualifications (1810) Property Ownership Tax Payment Qualifications Race Restrictions Gender Restrictions Location Restrictions Financial Restrictions Age Restrictions

3 Who Sets Suffrage Qualifications? The States….sort of No Constitutional authority, except: Article I Section 2 Clause 1 (Vote for Reps) Article II Section 1 Clause 2 (Electors) And now… 15 th Amendment 19 th Amendment 24 th Amendment 26 th Amendment Even the 14 th Amendment – Hill v. Stone

4 Not everyone supported equal suffrage for all!

5 So…Who Can Vote Now? Universal Requirements: Citizenship No Aliens Residence Legal resident of the State in which you vote Length of residency restrictions Voting Rights Act of 1970 30 days max restriction for Presidential elections Just say NO… transients Age 26 th Amendment (1971) Registration All states except N. Dakota Purging

6 Who Cannot Vote in the U.S.? Depends on State law, but generally: No Felons No person committed to mental institution No person convicted of election fraud No veterans dishonorably discharged

7 Registering to Vote Registration is NOT mandatory Only democratic country in the world Registration mandatory in Europe “Motor Voter” Act of 1993 Register when renew driver’s license Register by mail Get forms at government agencies Form sent every 4 years to “purge” lists Crawford. v. Marion County Election Board Is requiring photo ID legal? 6-3 says YES!!

8 U.S. Voting, a History of Discrimination Literacy Tests Must prove ability to read/write to vote “Understanding Clause” Grandfather Clauses Legal until 1970!!! Tax Payment (Poll Taxes) 24 th Amendment (1964) “Legal” until 1966 Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) Extended prohibition of poll taxes to states Affluence has nothing to do with voting 6-3 Supreme Court Decision


10 What About Ohio? Must complete Voter Registration at least 30 days prior to an election. Be a citizen of the United States. Be a resident at least 30 days before election. Be at least 18 years old by the day of the election. Not be serving time for a felony conviction. Not be declared incompetent by a court of law. Convicted of violating election law. Not be dishonorably discharged from the military. Must provide legal form of identification.

11 Legal Forms of Identification Government issued ID card Military issued ID card Current Utility Bill Current Bank Statement Current Government issued check Current Paycheck Government document with name & address  Provisional Ballots Current as of 11/04/2012


13 Congressman Tim Ryan (D) 13 th Congressional District The 13 th District The 13 th District


15 Are YOU an Idiot? Idiot: n. from Greek idiotes Those who do not vote or otherwise take part in public life

16 2008 Election 227.8 Million Voters 127 Million ballots cast for President (61%) 114 Million ballots cast for Congress (50%) “nonvoting voters” Ballot Fatigue General elections fare better than primaries

17 Why Do People Not Vote? Time Factor? “Cannot Voters” 10 Million Resident Aliens 5-6 Million sick or disabled 2-3 Million traveling 500K in mental institutions 2 Million incarcerated 100K refuse on religious grounds “idolatry” Discriminatory Practices

18 Actual Nonvoters 80 Million chose not to vote in 2008 “My vote doesn’t matter” Political efficacy (political “worth”)–no feeling of influence Disenfranchised vs. “Life will go on” Distrust of “the system” Complicated ballots, long-lines, bad weather “Time-Zone Fallout” Lack of interest – Voter Apathy




22 Voters Higher income levels Higher education levels Higher occupational status Well-integrated in society Long-time residents Strong party identification Believe voting is important Non-Voters 35 or younger Unmarried Unskilled Live in the South Rural areas Men less likely to vote

23 Voter Behavior - Sociological Factors Income & Occupation Lower income brackets vote Democratic 2008 was unusual exception Blue collar vs. White collar Education More education tends towards Republican 2008 was unusual exception Gender Women tend to vote Democratic



26 Sociological Factors (Cont.) Religion Protestants tend to favor Republican Catholics & Jews seem to lean Democratic Obama won 78% of Jewish vote & 54% of Catholic Church attendance 55% of regular church-goers voted for McCain Ethnicity Blacks vote overwhelmingly Democratic 95% of all voting blacks voted for Obama in 2008 Latinos tend to vote Democratic Cuban Americans tend to vote republican

27 Sociological Factors (Cont.) Geography The South New England Urban vs. Suburban Family, Friends, and Co-Workers 9 out of 10 married couples share party beliefs 2 out of 3 voters follow their parents views Group associations seem to reinforce political ideals

28 Psychological Factors Party Identification Most people choose a party and stay for life Straight-ticket voting Recent elections show declining party influence Split-ticket voting Rise in declared “independent” voters 25-30% of the electorate claims independent status Most will vote for one of the major parties Candidate Identification & Issues Can sometimes outweigh party loyalty


30 Year Voting-age population Voter registrationVoter turnout Turnout of voting-age population (percent) 2010**235,809,266NA90,682,96837.8% 2008*231,229,580NA132,618,580*56.8 2006220,600,000135,889,60080,588,00037.1 2004221,256,931174,800,000122,294,97855.3 2002215,473,000150,990,59879,830,11937.0 2000205,815,000156,421,311105,586,27451.3 1998200,929,000141,850,55873,117,02236.4 1996196,511,000146,211,96096,456,34549.1 1994193,650,000130,292,82275,105,86038.8 1992189,529,000133,821,178104,405,15555.1 1990185,812,000121,105,63067,859,18936.5 1988182,778,000126,379,62891,594,69350.1 1986178,566,000118,399,98464,991,12836.4 1984174,466,000124,150,61492,652,68053.1 1982169,938,000110,671,22567,615,57639.8 1980164,597,000113,043,73486,515,22152.6 1978158,373,000103,291,26558,917,93837.2 1976152,309,190105,037,98681,555,78953.6 1974146,336,00096,199,020 1 55,943,83438.2 1972140,776,00097,328,54177,718,55455.2 1970124,498,00082,496,747 2 58,014,33846.6 1968120,328,18681,658,18073,211,87560.8 1966116,132,00076,288,283 3 56,188,04648.4 1964114,090,00073,715,81870,644,59261.9 1962112,423,00065,393,751 4 53,141,22747.3 1960109,159,00064,833,096 5 68,838,20463.1




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