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The Electoral Process. Week 3 Vocab Definitions - A unit into which cities are often divided for the election of city council members. - A procedure of.

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Presentation on theme: "The Electoral Process. Week 3 Vocab Definitions - A unit into which cities are often divided for the election of city council members. - A procedure of."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Electoral Process

2 Week 3 Vocab Definitions - A unit into which cities are often divided for the election of city council members. - A procedure of voter identification intended to prevent voter fraud - The smallest unit of election administration, all voters in this geographical area report to one polling place - The process of drawing electoral lines in order to limit the voting strength of a particular group or party - The right to vote

3 How to Become a Candidate

4 3 Less Popular Ways to Nominate

5 The Primary Nonpartisan Primary Candidates are not identified by party labels Runoff Primary If a required majority is not met, the two people with the most votes run again Closed Primary Only declared party members can vote. Types of Direct PrimariesOpen Primary Any qualified voter can take part. Blanket Primary Qualified voters can vote for any candidate, regardless of party

6 Petition Candidates must gather a required number of voters’ signatures to get on the ballot by means of petition. Minor party and independent candidates are usually required by State law to be nominated by petition. Petition is often used at the local level to nominate for school posts and municipal offices.

7 Precincts and Polling Places Precincts A precinct is a voting district. Precincts are the smallest geographic units used to carry out elections. A precinct election board supervises the voting process in each precinct. Polling Places A polling place is where the voters who live in a precinct go to vote. It is located in or near each precinct. Polling places are supposed to be located conveniently for voters.

8 Voting Machines and Innovations Electronic vote counting has been in use since the 1960s. Punch-card ballots are often used to cast votes. Vote-by-mail elections have come into use in recent years. Online voting is a trend that may be encountered in the near future.

9 Sources of Funding Small contributors Wealthy supporters Nonparty groups such as PACs Temporary fund- raising organizations Candidates Government subsidies Private and Public Sources of Campaign Money

10 The Federal Election Commission The Federal Election Commission (FEC) enforces: the timely disclosure of campaign finance information limits on campaign contributions limits on campaign expenditures provisions for public funding of presidential campaigns

11 Loopholes in the Law “More loophole than law…” —Lyndon Johnson Soft money—money given to State and local party organizations for “party-building activities” that is filtered to presidential or congressional campaigns. $500 million was given to campaigns in this way in 2000. Independent campaign spending—a person unrelated and unconnected to a candidate or party can spend as much money as they want to benefit or work against candidates. Issue ads—take a stand on certain issues in order to criticize or support a certain candidate without actually mentioning that person’s name.

12 Public opinion can be described as those attitudes held by a significant number of people on matters of government and politics. Chapter 8, Section 1 2222 3333 What is Public Opinion? Different Publics The United States is made up of many groups, or publics, who share common news. Public Affairs Public affairs are those events and issues that concern the public at large. In its proper sense, public opinion includes only those views that relate to public affairs. Public Opinions More than one public opinion can exist at the same time, because there are many publics. A view or position must be expressed in the open in order to be a public opinion.

13 The Political Spectrum People who have similar opinions on political issues are generally grouped according to whether they are “left,” “right,” or “center” on the political spectrum. 2222 3333 Chapter 8, Section 1

14 Chapter 8, Section 2 3333 1111 Measuring Public Opinion Elections Candidates who win an election are said to have a mandate, or a command from the electorate, to carry out campaign promises. Interest Groups Interest groups are private organizations whose members share certain views and work to shape public policy. Interest groups are a chief means by which public opinion is made known. The Media The media are frequently described as “mirrors” as well as “molders” of opinion. Personal Contacts Public officials rely on frequent and wide-ranging contacts with their constituents, such as reading their mail, answering calls, and meeting people in public.

15 Chapter 8, Section 2 3333 1111 Polls—The Best Measure Straw Votes A straw vote is a method of polling that seeks to read the public’s mind simply by asking the same question of a large number of people. The straw-vote technique is highly unreliable, however. Public opinion is best measured by public opinion polls, devices that attempt to collect information by asking people questions. Scientific Polling There are now more than 1,000 national and regional polling organizations in this country, with at least 200 of these polling political preferences.

16 Evaluating Polls and Their Limit on Public Opinion Evaluating Polls On balance, most national and regional polls are fairly reliable. Still, they are far from perfect. Potential problems with polls include their inability to measure the intensity, stability, and relevance of the opinions they report. polls and pollsters are sometimes said to shape the opinions they are supposed to measure. Limits on the Impact of Public Opinion Public opinion is the major, but by no means the only, influence on public policy in this country. Much of the American system is designed to protect minority interests. polls are not elections Chapter 8, Section 2 3333 1111

17 The Role of Mass Media A medium is a means of communication; it transmits some kind of information. Five major mass media are particularly important in American politics, here are 4 of them what is the 5 th ? Chapter 8, Section 3 2222 1111

18 Media Statistics Chapter 8, Section 3 2222 1111 Access to media varies from country to country.

19 The Media and Politics The Public Agenda The media play a very large role in shaping the public agenda, the societal problems that political leaders and citizens agree need government attention. Electoral Politics television allows candidates to appeal directly to the people, without the help of a party organization. Internet allows candidates to control their own message Candidates regularly try to use media coverage to their advantage. Newscasts featuring candidates are usually short, sharply focused sound bites—snappy reports that can be aired in 30 to 45 seconds. Chapter 8, Section 3 2222 1111

20 2222 1111 Limits on Media Influence Only a small part of the public actually takes in and understands much of what the media have to say about public affairs. Many media sources mostly skim the news, reporting only what their news editors judge to be the most important and/or most interesting stories of the day. In-depth coverage of public affairs is available to those who want it and will seek it out.

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