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Elections American Government. Legitimacy  The reason why elections are successful within the United States is because we believe they have legitimacy.

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Presentation on theme: "Elections American Government. Legitimacy  The reason why elections are successful within the United States is because we believe they have legitimacy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Elections American Government

2 Legitimacy  The reason why elections are successful within the United States is because we believe they have legitimacy  We view our elections as fair and a free method of choosing our leaders

3 Landmark election  The Election of 1800 pitted Aaron Burr, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson against each other  During this time period, elected positions were not supposed to be explicitly sought after  They let others promote their cause for them  Because of an electoral tie, Jefferson and Burr tie for the presidency  The House of Representatives eventually chose Jefferson as president and Burr as vice president  This election is important as it is the first successful transfer of political power across party line (Federalist to Democratic-Republicans)

4 Political Participation  Political Participation encompasses the activities that citizens participate in as the pursue the selection of particular political leaders and policies. Participation includes:  Voting  Trying to persuade others (to do anything political)  Ringing doorbells for petitions  Running for office  Class and race can have major impacts on voting behavior and political participation  When looking at class, those who are more educated, make more money, or have what are considered to more respectable professions tend to vote at higher rates within our

5 Voting  Suffrage is the ability or right to vote in an election  The 14th, 15th, 19th, and 26th amendment have greatly impacted those who can vote within the United States  There are two exceptions to who can vote:  Non-citizens are not allowed to vote for elected officials  Prisoners and sometimes paroles are not allowed to vote.  10 states have lifetime bans for convicted felons

6 Types of Voting  There are a variety of ways that citizens in the United States can express their political preferences  Electoral College-  This is the current system we use to determine the presidency  Each state is given a certain number of electoral votes based upon population  Each state (except Nebraska and Maine) runs a winner take all system  The presidential candidate must receive 270 electoral votes in order win the presidency  Direct Popular Election-  This is generally used for lower level races  Some states use a plurality system in which all you need to do is get the most votes to win  Other states use a majority system that requires that the candidate receive 50% +1 of the votes in order to win the election

7 Types of Voting  Procedures that allow for citizens to directly pass legislation are known as referendums and initiative petitions.  A referendum allows voters to approve or disapprove of some legislative act, bond issue, or constitutional amendment through a voting process.  Initiative petitions can be placed on a ballot by eliciting the signatures of 10% of voters from the previous election.  Once on the ballot, the initiative can pass with a majority vote.

8 Socialization  Political Socialization is the process through which a citizen acquires his or her particular political orientations, knowledge, feelings, and evaluations regarding the political world  The elements that impact political socialization are:  Family  The Media  School  Political Learning over a lifetime  The values and beliefs that one holds about public policy is known as a political ideology

9 Turnout  Oddly enough, as more people have been afforded the opportunity to vote, the proportion of voters has dropped drastically.  In the election of 1896 there was an 80% turnout compared to 57.5% in 2012.  Reasons people vote:  Political efficacy, or the belief that ordinary people can influence government, pushes people to vote  Completing ones civic duty is a major reason why people actually vote  Belief that ones vote will help change policy.  Reasons people do not vote:  The cost of ones time is deemed too valuable to actually vote  The belief that ones vote doesn't matter anyway.  The inability to get time off to go vote.

10 Registration  Around 1900, voter registration laws were put into effect in most states.  These registration laws did discourage some from voting, but also helped to prevent ballot box stuffers from voting more than once.  Some states still do not have voter registration laws  These states have some of the highest turnout rates  Because some states had made it overly difficult for potential voters to register to vote, the Motor Voter Act of 1993 was passed.  This act allowed for eligible voters to register to register to vote by simply checking a box on their driver's license application or renewal form.

11 Voter Impact  There are a variety of factors the impact who votes in an elections.  Education is a major factor in regards to election turnout.  The higher your education level, the more likely you are to vote  Age is another major voting factor.  As age increases, the ratio of voters to non-voters increases  For almost all elections, white voters are more likely to go to the polls than any racial minority.  When voting statistics of minorities and whites are compared there is very little voter gap as long as education and class are equal. It appears that class is the true indicator of voter turnout.

12 Voter Impact  In modern elections, more women vote compared to their male counterparts.  This is known as the gender gap  Marital status: People who are married are more likely to vote than those who are not.  Those who work within the government are also more likely to vote.

13 Mandate  Candidates who win feel that they have a mandate from the people as the chosen leader.  This is the belief that the people have chosen them as the individual who has the right ability to govern.

14 Policy Voting  Policy voting occurs when people base their choices on their own issue preferences  There are four conditions to policy voting: 1.Voters must have a clear sense of their own policy positions 2.Voters must know where the candidates stand on policy issues 3.Voters must see differences between the candidates on the issues 4.Voters must actually cast a vote for the candidate whose policy positions coincide with their own

15 Retro  Retrospective voting plays off of policy voting. Voters will vote for those who they feel have passed policies that that help them. This is known as "what have you done for me lately?" voting.

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