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American Government Unit 4

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1 American Government Unit 4
Chapter 7: The Electoral Process

2 Bellringer Why do you think it is necessary to have a process for naming candidates for office? How does the fact that we have a two-party system increase the importance of a nomination?

3 I. The Nominating Process

4 Nominating Candidates
Only 2 people run in the general election. How do they get there? Nomination – the naming of those who will seek office General Election – first Tuesday in November on even years (Constitution)

5 5 Methods of Nomination Primary – (semifinals) – elections, winner goes on to the general election – many different ways Caucus – group of like-minded people who meet to select a candidate – party only Convention – local party picks states delegates – then pick national – then pick candidate Self-Announcement – person announces they are running – third party/independent Petition – a required number of signatures required – then on the ballot Higher the office – more signatures

6 Direct Primary Direct Primary – an intraparty election – held within the party to pick that party’s candidates for the general election Republicans v. Republicans Democrats v. Democrats

7 Direct Primary Closed Primary – Must be a registered party member to run Open Primary – any voter can vote – some secret – some open by party Blanket Party – ballot listed every candidate Run off primary Nonpartisan – local elections (consolidated election)


9 Evaluations of the Primary
Primary helped get away from Boss dominated and party organization Put power in hands of everyday people.

10 Review

11 II. Elections

12 The Administration of Elections
Federal law says Congress picks when President and Congress run – it is the first Tuesday in Nov on even years States usually have it the same day – but don’t have to Absentee voting – a process by which people could vote without going to their polling places on election day. Coattail effect – when a strong candidate running for a high office attracts voters and helps lower candidate win also – but not (can hurt)

13 Precincts and Polling Places
Precinct - a voting district (smallest unit) Polling place – the place where voters in a precinct actually vote. Election judges run the elections – picked by the central Democrat and Republican county central committee – then confirmed by the circuit court Training courses – run elections and help handicap, illiterate and ect…

14 Voting Done by secret ballot
Organized sometimes in office group form or party column form Now have electronic voting Mail voting Absentee voting Online voting?

15 III. Money and Elections
2008 primary saw 2.5 billion dollars of campaign spending – wow! House member needs 1 million dollars Senate could be 20 million

16 Sources of Funding Small contributors – 10 dollars (page 203) Wealthy
Candidates themselves Nonparty groups – PAC’s (more later) Temporary Organizations – 527’s - Why do people give – usually want something

17 Regulate Finance of Elections
Federal Election Commission – they watch over elections – auditors – nonpartisan under the President – understaffed and underfunded Watch and enforce Disclosure requirements, limits on contributions and PAC contributions, Limits on Expenditures, and Give public funding for presidential campaigns

18 Some Election Finance Laws
Cannot contribute for someone else No more than $100 cash No foreign money $2,300 to a primary and $2,300 to general $5,000 to a PAC $28,500 to party (RNC,DNC) $108,200 per election cycle (2 years)

19 PAC’s Political Action Committee
Law says that corporations or labor unions can give money to campaigns – their PAC’s can. Only raise funds from members Two types – business and ideological $5,000 per candidate per election – no limit of Candidates though Can have own TV commercials

20 Hard Money, Soft Money Hard Money – money limited to campaigns
Soft Money – funds given to parties or to other political organizations in unlimited amounts for “party-building activities” RNC and DNC filtered money into the campaigns BCRA (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act) – limited soft money to campaigns – so independent groups started 527’s – independent organizations (IRS number) that help support candidates Karl Rove

21 Review

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