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Elections Americans vote at extreme levels –Elections are held almost everyday besides Sundays and holidays –500,000 office holders are elected in the.

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Presentation on theme: "Elections Americans vote at extreme levels –Elections are held almost everyday besides Sundays and holidays –500,000 office holders are elected in the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Elections Americans vote at extreme levels –Elections are held almost everyday besides Sundays and holidays –500,000 office holders are elected in the country –Election law is state law-not federal law

2 The Constitution gives Congress the power to set time and date of congressional and presidential elections –Every first Tuesday after the first Monday in November –Every even year for Congress; every other even year for President –Congress requires use of secret ballots and voting machine for federal elections

3 After the 2000 election Congress passed the Help America Vote Act 2002 –Replace lever operated voting by 2006-most states failed –Upgrade administration of elections –Centralize and computerize voter registration system –Provide provisional voting for those who are challenged

4 Election Day State elections are usually held on same day as federal elections –Prevents election from falling on Sunday and pay day –Some states hold elections during different years

5 Early Voting Many Americans use absentee voting where they vote without going to the polls –Set up to help the ill, disabled, or those gone during elections –Now any qualified voter can vote absentee –Must apply to receive the absentee ballot Most states now allow ballots to be case several days before elections at polling places

6 Coattail Effect Occurs when a strong candidate at the top attracts votes for other candidates on a party’s ticket “Reverse Coattail” can occurs when a weak candidate leads people to vote against a party People argue state and local elections should be held on different days to prevent coattail effect

7 Precincts and Polling Places A precinct is your voting district –State law restricts the size to no more then 500-1000 voters A polling place is where voters actually vote –Supervised by precinct election board selected by County Clerk

8 Casting a Ballot A ballot is a device which voters use to choose candidates –State law requires that ballots be secret –Originally votes were given by voice –First paper ballots were pieces of paper filled out by voters before hand –Parties prepared colored ballots for their party

9 Australian Ballot First used in Australia with four (4) distinct features –Printed at public expense –Lists names of all candidates in an election –Given out only at the polls to each voter –It is marked in secret

10 Office-Group Ballot Form of the Australian ballot, sometimes called Massachusetts ballot Candidates for an office are grouped together under the title of that office At first names appeared alphabetically; today they are mixed Favored by students of the political process


12 The Party-Column Ballot Type of Australian ballot also known as Indiana ballot Party’s candidates are listed in a column under the party’s name Professional politicians tend to favor these

13 Sample Ballot Clearly marked as samples and available in most states –Some are mailed to voters, some are printed in papers Created to help voters decide who to vote for in the electionelection

14 Bedsheet Ballot Lengthy ballots due to all the candidates and issues being voted on Many hold the view that the more things you vote on the greater the governmental system Longest ballots found at the local level Critics say that the fewer the things voted upon the more informed voters will be –Prefer voting on policy makers only and appointing administrators

15 Automated Voting More then half the votes are cast on electronic voting devices First voting machine was invented by Thomas Edison Most early machines were lever operated –Pull a different lever to vote for different candidates Helped speed up process, reduced fraud and counting errors


17 Electronic Vote Counting States use electronic data processing (EDP) to count votes Early EDPs dealt with punch cards and computers Problems were caused by voters not punching completely through the ballot –HAVA 2002 required the elimination of punch card ballots States are turning to paper ballots with optical scanners or electronic machines

18 Vote-by-Mail Elections Some states conduct elections entirely through the mail –Almost all elections are local Ballots come in the mail and completed ballots are sent in the mail Absentee voting is becoming a more common vote-by-mail process Critics fear vote-by-mail will threatens the principle of the secret ballot The mail-in process increases voter turnout and reduces costs of elections

19 Online Voting Some states are looking toward online voting The few times online voting took place it was on a limited basis Supports believe it is more convenient for voters Critics feel it is dangerous and might be effected by viruses, faulty internet, and hackers –Also undermines the principle of equality

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