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The Voter Registration Process

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Presentation on theme: "The Voter Registration Process"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Voter Registration Process
Past, Present, and Future

2 So…. the white guy with everything is also the only one voting as well
So….the white guy with everything is also the only one voting as well? That seems fair….. Originally the Electorate was made up of land owning white males Like this guy -> We’re talking a miniscule number. A fraction of a fraction. Today our Electorate is made up of over 200 million people of every race, gender, and religious preference. What changed???

3 Getting better…… There is NO constitutional provision that states anything about voting qualifications. This power is left up to each State to determine on their own. The government does place certain restrictions on this power. States cannot deny a person the right to vote based on: Race (15th Amendment) Sex (19th Amendment) Payment of a special Poll Tax (24th Amendment) Age, if 18 or older (26th Amendment)

4 Sooo….Who gets to vote then???
There are three universal requirements to vote in every State in the United States; Citizenship Residency Age

5 Citizenship, Schmitizenship
Every State requires that voters be United States Citizens. In some States illegal aliens can vote, but their vote will not be counted. In Texas you can vote a “Provisional Ballot.” The vote will not be counted since you are not a registered voter, but you can still cast a ballot. So what’s the big deal? Why shouldn’t illegal immigrants be able to vote?

6 I just moved here….I swear!
You must be a legal resident of the State in which you are voting to be able to cast a ballot. Most states require a minimum number of days that you must live in the State to become eligible. Most minimums are 30 days (Texas included). Many States prohibit transients, persons living in the State for only a short time, from gaining legal residence there. Military Traveling Sales Agents and Truck Drivers College Students

7 I’m totally 18……Just ask my Mom…
Anyone who is 18 or older may vote. Age used to vary, with the consensus being 21. A movement to change this age to 18 began during WWII and was finally realized during the Vietnam war with the 26th Amendment. Voter turnout has never been stellar for the age group and has gradually gone down, with a few exceptions (2008 Presidential Election).

8 And you thought YOU had it bad….
Some States have additional qualifications to be able to vote. Registration Literacy Tests Poll Taxes Of all of these, the only qualification to survive until today is registration.

9 A Voter Registration Card??? I’m somebody now!
+10 points if you get -> this reference. 49 States (all but North Dakota, what gives?) require that most or all of their voters be registered in order to vote. Registration is a procedure of voter identification that is intended to prevent fraudulent voting. A list is compiled of all voters who meet the criteria to be eligible and who are currently registered to vote in the county and or state in what are called poll books. Poll books are purged every few years to remove voters who are no longer eligible to vote . Bell County does this at the end of every year.

10 But….that’s not fair! Some criticize registration as being a tool of disenfranchisement that is used towards the poor and less-educated. They note that the decline in voter turn out can be traced back to the early 20th century when registration started being enacted across the country. Many European countries have laws where all persons who are legal and eligible to vote are put on one master list and do not individually register. The United States puts the burden on the voter themselves. If you want to vote than you can choose to register and do so.

11 So how do we make it more fair?
Many want to keep our current system of registration the way it is, but they want to make it easier to register. The Motor Voter Law, made effective in 1995, directs every State to allow eligible citizens to register to vote when they apply for or renew their drivers license. They can also send out and receive voter registration forms by mail and have the forms available at other local offices or agencies for ease of attainment. Millions have taken advantage of this law and registered to vote in one of these ways.

12 Uv corse I kun reed….wutta bowt u?
Literacy tests were used to test the ability of a person to read or write in order for that person to be able to vote. Some argued that these were needed to insure that the voter was able to make an informed decision on the ballot, but many States used this practice to discriminate against the poor, blacks, Native Americans, and other minorities.

13 How many licks does it take to the center of a tootsie roll pop
How many licks does it take to the center of a tootsie roll pop???? Answer to vote…… Whites were often asked simple questions while blacks and other minorities were asked extremely hard things like; Name every county judge in the State. (Alabama) Name the dates when the States were admitted into the Union. (Oklahoma) How many bubbles are in a bar of soap? (Mississippi) These tests were eventually put to a stop by the Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970. Three. Definitely three……

14 No representation without unequal and unjust taxation……
A poll tax was a special tax paid for the privilege to vote. Receipt of the paid tax must be presented in order to cast your ballot. Poll taxes were used all throughout the south for elections until the 24th Amendment was ratified.

15 Others who have lost the privilege.
Most States still disqualify certain people from voting for other reasons. These include: Those housed in mental institutions. Those found mentally incompetent by a court of law. Felons. Anyone who has been discharged dishonorably from the military.

16 Is this fair? What would you change if you could?
To wrap it all up…. To register to vote you must meet pretty basic requirements set by individual States with some caveats by the government. Be a citizen of the United States. Be over the age of 18. Be a resident of the State you wish to vote in. Be registered in the State you wish to vote in. Is this fair? What would you change if you could?

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