Suffrage Franchise Electorate http://www.gallup.com/poll/158399/2012-electorate- looks-like-2008.aspx http://www.gallup.com/poll/158399/2012-electorate- looks-like-2008.aspx A. The Constitution & the Right to Vote
“now tell me, which was the voter, the man or the jackass?” B. Voter Qualifications
1)Gradual elimination of a number of restrictions on the right to vote, based on religious belief, property ownership, tax payment, race, sex, and literacy 2)A significant share of what was originally the States’ power over the right to vote has been assumed by the federal government a.Early 1800s: religious qualifications & property ownership requirements disappeared b.Post Civil War: 15 th Amendment (race) c.1920: 19 th Amendment (gender) d.1960s: 23 rd Amendment(DC), 24 th Amendment(poll tax), Voting Rights Act(65) e.1971: 26 th Amendment (age 18) Long-term trends
1)Any person whom a State allows to vote for members of the “most numerous branch” of its own legislature must also be allowed to vote for representatives and senators in Congress. 2)No State can deprive any person of the right to vote “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” 3)No State can require the payment of any tax as condition for taking part in the nomination or election of any federal officeholder. 4)No State can deprive any person of the right to vote on account of sex 5)No State can deprive any person who is at least 18 years of age of the right to vote because of age Constitutional Restrictions on State Voting Laws
Citizenship Residence: most states require that a person live within the State for at least some period of time in order to qualify to vote Age Others? Registration: process of voter identification – prospective voters must provide name, age, place of birth, present address, length of residence… to county clerks Citizenship, Residence & Age
Varies by state People in mental institutions Those convicted of a felony Those dishonorably discharged from the military homeless Who cannot vote?
The practice of drawing the lines of electoral districts in order to limit the voting strength of a particular group or party Gerrymandering
Idiotes: citizens who did not vote or otherwise take part in public life; they were ignorant of public affairs http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/04/14837739 -nonvoters-theyre-too-busy-fed-up-or-say-their-vote- doesnt-count?lite http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/04/14837739 -nonvoters-theyre-too-busy-fed-up-or-say-their-vote- doesnt-count?lite C. Nonvoters… Idiots!
Political efficacy: the lack of any sense of influence or effectiveness in politics
Who votes? Those with higher levels of income, education & occupational status They are usually well integrated into community life They tend to be long-time residents of their community They are likely to have strong party identification D. Voters