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The Citizen in Government Electing Leaders ~~~~~ The Right to Vote

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Presentation on theme: "The Citizen in Government Electing Leaders ~~~~~ The Right to Vote"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Citizen in Government Electing Leaders ~~~~~ The Right to Vote
Chapter Ten The Citizen in Government Electing Leaders ~~~~~ The Right to Vote


3 Voting one of the most important rights held by U.S. citizens
means through which citizens can most directly affect the actions of government at the age of 18, all U.S. citizens become eligible to vote in national, state, and local elections voter qualifications decided by each state registering to vote and voting in state elections registration in most states person must be 18 within a certain time period before the next election by the time of the next election

4 Voting in the U.S. constitutional provisions Voting Rights Act - 1965
forbids any state to deny a citizen the right to vote on the basis of race, color, or sex 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment, 26th Amendment must be followed by all states Voting Rights Act outlawed discriminatory voting practices literacy tests expanded in 1970, 1975, and 1982 disqualifications – loss of voting rights certain people lose the right to vote or are not allowed to vote prison inmates and people convicted of felonies conditionally or permanently denied mentally incompetent persons institutionalized election-law violators persons with no established residence homeless

5 Qualified Voters registration types of registration
places a voter's name on the official roll of eligible voters most states require voters to register before the day of election people give their name, address, date of birth other information is sometimes required may be given cards showing that they are registered voters types of registration permanent voters need to register only once periodic voters must register before each election or at regular intervals re-registration needed when voters do not vote in a certain number of elections when voters change their address move to a new precinct when voters change their name women get married

6 Party Affiliation citizens may be asked to register as a member of a political party when registering to vote party membership may be changed later by registering again citizens may also register as independent voters if a person does not register as a member of a political party, they may not be allowed to vote in primary elections in some states Independent Voters = Voters who are not members of a political party.

7 Primary Elections primary elections closed primary open primary
usually held in the late spring or early summer voters choose the candidates from each party who will run in the November general election closed primary only those voters who are registered with the party can vote to choose the party's candidates only registered Democrats can vote for Democratic candidates only registered Republicans can vote for Republican candidates people registered as independent voters cannot vote used by most states open primary voters may vote for the candidates of either major party, whether or not the voters belong to that party

8 Primary Elections winning a primary nominating conventions
in most states, the candidate who receives the highest number of votes is the winner the winning candidate does not have to receive a majority - more than 50 percent in some states, the winner must receive a majority of the votes if no candidate receives a majority, a runoff election between the two leading candidates decides the winner the winning candidate in the primary election then becomes the party's candidate in the general election nominating conventions in some states political parties choose their candidates at special conventions delegates to the convention are elected by the various committees in the state's political organization state convention - county and city committees select the delegates national convention - state committees select the delegates

9 Independent Candidates
not affiliated with a major political party does not have to participate in primary elections getting on the general election ballot supporters sign a petition candidate can have his or her name printed on ballot write-in vote voters may write in the name of an unofficial candidate grassroots support support from many individuals at the local level rather than from national parties and other large organizations not elected as often as major-party candidates do win some elections, mostly for local offices

10 General Elections voters choose the leaders who will take office
held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November the president and members of Congress are elected in even-numbered years presidential elections take place every four years congressional elections occur every two years most general elections for state officials are also held in November some states elect their state officials in odd-numbered years the timing of state elections varies from state to state voter resources nonpartisan organizations like the League of Women Voters provide information about national and local election issues read newspapers and magazines and find information about candidates on the Internet listen to the candidates on the radio and on television and can discuss the candidates with other people

11 Voting in America poll watchers early 1800s 1888
people acting as inspectors at polling places each party has them to ensure that elections are conducted fairly early 1800s voice vote voters announced aloud to the election official their choice of candidate easy to pressure a person to vote a certain way 1888 secret ballots paper ballots contain the names of the candidates and a place for the voter to mark a choice ballot marked in secret to guarantee that a person's vote remains private helps make elections fair and honest

12 Voting Today voting mechanisms straight ticket split ticket
mechanical lever machines large curtained booths with rows of levers with the name of a candidate or issue near the lever punchcards use a hole punch to indicate what candidate or issue they support marksense or optical scan system requires voters to fill in little black circles or arrows with a pencil a special machine called an optical scanner then counts the votes direct recording electronic (DRE) systems voters select their candidates by touching the person's name on a computer screen straight ticket vote for all of the candidates of one party split ticket choosing candidates of more than one political party polling places usually open from early in the morning until evening by law employers must give time off to employees to vote

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