2 Who does the Constitution give the right to vote to? Can you find it?
3 Article 1, Section. 2.The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.Article 1, Section. 3.The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature, thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.Changed with 17th Amendment
4 American Suffrage Suffrage – the right to vote, also know as franchise Expanding the electorate – potential voting pop.Getting rid of restrictions, gradualIncrease in National gov’t power over suffrage
5 Expanding suffrage and National Control (5 stages) 1800s – Some restrictions begin to disappear!No more religious tests (1810)One by one property ownership and tax payment qualifications requirements fade awayBy mid-century – almost all white adult males can vote in every State2. Broaden electorate after Civil War15th Amendment (ratified 1870)African Americans still disenfranchised, largest group
6 3. 19th Amendment (ratified 1920) Wyoming (before it was even a State) gave women the right to vote in 1869, other States begin to follow leads – Courts and National/Federal gov’t focus on civil rightsSecure African Americans a full role in the electoral process in al StatesVoting Rights Act 196523rd Amendment (1961, DC)24th Amendment, Poll Tax5. 26th Amendment, 1971 – min age 18
7 The Power to set voting qualifications Suffrage qualifications left to who? Reserved for the StatesRestrictions set:“most numerous branch” provision…very little meaning todayAny 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 reps and Sen. In CongressNo State can deprive any person the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude (Amendment 15 )“ …….” Based on sex (Amendment 19 )
8 4. No State can require payment of any tax as a condition for taking part in the nomination or election of any federal officeholderCan’t levy tax for voting in Pres, VP, or National Congressional election (Amendment 24, 1964 )Aka no poll tax5. No State can deprive any person who is at least 18 the right to vote based on age (Amendment 26, 1971 )States set qualifications so long as they don’t violate these provisions or any other provision of the Constitution
9 Voter Qualifications Universal Requirements Citizenship Residence Age – 18, can it be lower?
10 CitizenshipAliens who aren’t citizens, generally denied, But does the Constitution prohibit them from doing so?Native-born vs Naturalization – many States draw a distinction between Native-born and Naturalize citizensEx. Pennsylvania says Naturalized citizens must have become a citizen at least one month before an election
11 ResidenceOne must be a legal resident of the state & most for a certain amount of timePolitical Machine – don’t want outsiders to effect the electionNew voters – allow time to become familiar with the candidates and issues in the upcoming electionUse to have long residence requirements (60-90 days); not so long today, only need residence (most 30 days)Result of 1970 federal law, and 1972 court decision.Too long = unsupportable discrimination against new residents (14 amendment violation)Transients? (Traveling sales men, college students?)
12 Age, is it but a number?No state can set minimum age for voting more than 18 (26th Amendment)Can 16 yr olds vote? What about 5 yr olds?Does age matter?Before 21 was general ageNational attempt after WWII (1940s) then Vietnam (1971)“Old enough to fight, old enough to vote”
13 How have 18, 19, 20 yr olds responded? Does expanding suffrage increase participation?Not when it come to age Young voters less likely to vote than any other age group18 – 20 group:1972 – 48%2000 – 28%Why do you think elected officials pay so much attention to Medicare and not youth issues???
14 Registration!Procedure of voter identification intended to prevent fraudulent votingProvides officials with a list of those person who are qualified to vote in an electionVoter registration also used (in some) States to identify voters in terms of their party preference and eligibility to take part in closed primaries
15 Requirements for registration 49 States require registration (all but ND)Vary by State, why?Maine and Wisconsin allow voters to register at any time (up to and including election day) – elsewhere limited to before an electionAllow for time to prep poll booksName, age, lengthen of residence, and other factsTypically registered until death, convicted of serious crime, committed to mental institution, or movePurging (2-4 years) and poll books
16 Controversies!!!! Oh no!Should registration be abolished? Why would some people think so?Voter turnout decline early 1900s – most States adopted registration requirementTurnout higher in European democracies – law requires those that are eligible to be auto registeredProponents say it protects against fraud
17 Where to register?Voter registration drives – concerts, fairs, shopping centers, high schoolsLocally – county clerks office, an officer qualified to register youDMV – “motor voter act” 1995Allow all eligible citizens to register to when applying or renewing licenseProvide voter registration by mailmake registration forms available at the local office of State social service agencies8 million by 2000
18 Literacy, Tax Payment Common, long history – but no longer Literacy test – test your ability to readDisenfranchise voters1850s - Connecticut and Massachusetts to disenfranchise Irish CatholicsTurn of 20th century African American voters in the SouthWhat about white voters that couldn’t read – Grandfather clauses
19 Poll Tax – special tax to vote 24th amendment, 1964 Tax payment – property ownership. Proved by payment of property taxes – once commonPoll Tax – special tax to voteCommon in the South24th amendment, 1964SCOTUS case 1966 – violated due process since there’s no reasonable relationship between voting and payment
20 Persons denied the vote All 50 States deny it to those in mental institutions, or others legally found mentally incompetentMost disqualify (at least temp) those convicted of serious crimesUse to be permanent disenfranchisementA few States disenfranchise those who have been dishonorably discharged from the military