2 How American elections work Elections have legitimacy meaning they are almost universally accepted as a fair and free method of selecting political leaders.Referendum- a state-level method of direct legislation that gives voters a chance to approve or disapprove proposed legislation or a proposed constitutional amendment.Initiative petition – a process permitted in some states whereby voters may put proposed changes in the state law to vote if sufficient signatures are obtained on petitions.Initiative petitions are often portrayed as lawmaking from the ground up, with the people taking charge of the political agenda and forcing decisions on issues on which state legislatures have failed to act.
3 Whether to voteOver two centuries of American electoral history, federal laws have greatly expanded suffrage which is the right to vote.Suffrage- the legal right to vote in the united states.Many people don’t vote because its “costly” or because they feel that their vote will not make a difference in the outcome.Political efficacy- the belief that ones political participation really matters and that ones vote can actually make a difference.Others feel that it’s a civic duty to vote. Which is the belief that in order to support democratic government, a citizen should vote.
4 Registering to voteVoter registration was created when cases such as 159,000 votes being cast by 147,000 eligible voters in West Virginia in 1888 were not that unusual.Voter registration- a system adopted by the states that requires voters to register prior to voting.
5 How Americans voteAmericans typically vote for the candidate whose policy views they prefer.Mandate theory of elections- the idea that the winnning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his or her platforms and politics.Policy voting- occurs when people base their choices in an election on their own issue preferences.Party identifications are crucial for many voters because they provide a regular perspective through which voters can view the political world.
6 The electoral collegeA unique American institution, created by the constitution, providing for the selection of the president by the electors.Each state has as many electoral votes as it has U.S. senators and representatives.48 out of 50 states employ a winner take all system in which all their electors are awarded to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes statewide.Retrospective voting- a theory of voting to which voters essentially make their decisions based on their answers to the question “what have you done for me lately?”
7 The motor voter act was intended to? Expand suffrage to minorities.Lower the voting age.Redistribute states’ electoral votes.Increase voter registration.Raise the voting age.