Presentation on theme: "Voters and Voter Behavior"— Presentation transcript:
1 Voters and Voter Behavior Chapter 6Voters and Voter Behavior
2 The Right to VoteWhen the Constitution went into effect in 1789, the right to vote in the United States was restricted to white, male, property owners.Today, nearly all citizens who are at least 18 years of age, can now qualify to vote. Thus, becoming part of the electorate. Electorate: All of the people entitled to vote in a given election.
3 The Right to VoteIn US government, there are 5 stages in which suffrage was extended to the population. Suffrage: means the right to vote.1) Early in the 1800’s, states began to eliminate property ownership and tax payment qualifications.2) The next effort came after the Civil War ( ). The 15th Amendment was intended to protect any citizen from being denied the right to vote because of race or color.
4 The Right to Vote3) The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. This amendment was ratified in 1920.
5 The Right to Vote4) During the 1960’s, thanks to the passage of a number of civil rights acts and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 23rd and 24th Amendments were passed.23rd Amendment: added the voters of the District of Columbia to the presidential electorate.
6 Stage 4 continued24th Amendment: eliminated the poll tax (as well as any other tax) as a condition for voting in any federal election. 5) The last expansion of the electorate came with the 26th Amendment. 26th Amendment: Set the minimum age for voting to persons 18 years old.
7 Voter QualificationsToday, every State requires that any person who wants to vote must be able to satisfy qualifications based on 3 factors.1) Citizenship. Aliens-foreign born residents who have not become citizens-are generally denied the right to vote in the US. Today, MN requires a person to have been an American citizen for at least 3 months before they can vote. PA requires a person to be a citizen at least one month before an election in order to vote.
8 Voter Qualifications2) Residence. In order to vote, one must be a legal resident of the State in which he or she wishes to cast a ballot. Most States now require that a voter be a legal resident but attach NO time period for qualification.Nearly every State does prohibit transients from gaining a legal residence there. A transient is a person living in a State for only a short time, without legal residence.
9 Voter Qualifications3) Age. The 26th Amendment states that no State can set the minimum age for voting in any election at more than 18.Georgia was the first State to allow 18 year olds to vote. They did this in 1943, during WWII.
10 Other Qualifications49 States require that most or all voters be registered to vote. Registration: is a procedure of voter identification intended to prevent fraudulent voting.Typically a voter must register his or her name, age, place of birth, present address, length of residence, etc.
11 Other QualificationsState law directs local election officials to review lists of registered voters and to remove the names of those who are no longer eligible to vote. This is a process is known as purging.This requirement is often ignored. Then the poll books: the official lists of qualified voters in each precinct, soon become clogged with names of those no longer eligible to vote.
12 Registration continued Most States have eased the process of registration. In 1993, became effective in 1995, Congress passed the “Motor Voter Law”. This law directs every State to: 1) allow all eligible citizens to register to vote when they apply for or renew a driver’s license; 2) provide for voter registration by mail; and 3) make registration forms available at the local government offices.
13 Other QualificationsLiteracy. Today, no State has a suffrage qualification based on voter literacy. Literacy: A person’s ability to read or write.At one time, the literacy requirement could be used to make sure that a qualified voter had the capacity to cast an informed ballot. Yet some States used this to keep people FROM voting.Congress eliminated literacy as a suffrage qualification in the Voting Rights Act Amendment of 1970.
14 Other QualificationsTax Payment. Property ownership was once a very common suffrage qualification. States demanded the payment of a special tax, called the poll tax, as a condition for voting. Poll tax: A special tax, demanded by States, as a condition of voting.The 24th Amendment, ratified in 1964, outlawed the poll tax, or any other tax, as a condition for voting in any federal election.
16 Other QualificationsPersons denied the vote. None of the 50 States allow people in mental institutions, or any other persons who have been legally found to be mentally incompetent, to vote. Nearly all States also disqualify those who have been convicted of serious crimes.
17 Other QualificationsCivil Rights Act of outlaws discrimination in public facilities, jobs -forbids literacy tests, use of any test to discriminate based on race -power to issue injunctions against local government
18 Other Qualifications Voting Rights Act of 1965 -led to the banning of poll taxes-gave federal officials power to register voters
19 GerrymanderingThe 15th Amendment intended to protect people from being denied the right to vote. Great principle but it was hard to enforce.Poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses are just a few examples of how some States went around the 15th Amendment.States found a new way to go around the 15th Amendment: Gerrymandering.
20 Gerrymandering continued Gerrymandering: is the practice of drawing electoral district lines in order to limit the voting strength of a particular group or party.
21 Voter Behavior There are 6 sociological factors to voter behavior. 1) Income and Occupation. On average, Professional and business people, and others with higher incomes, tend to vote Republican. Manual workers and others in lower income groups, usually vote Democrat.
22 Voter Behavior2) Education. Studies show a close relationship between the level of a voter’s education and how he or she votes. College grads vote Republican more than high school grads.3) Gender, Age. Women generally tend to favor the Democrats and men favor the Republicans. This phenomenon is known as the gender gap.
23 3 ContinuedGender gap: Measurable differences between the partisan choices of men and women today.A number of studies show that men and women vote differently on such issues as abortion, health care, etc.
24 Voter Behavior4a) Religious. Historically, a majority of Protestants have preferred the Republican Party. Catholics and Jews have been much more likely to be Democrats.4b) Ethnic background. For decades now, African-Americans have tended to be Democrats. Hispanic-Americans tend to split party affiliation due to where they are from. Example: Cuban Americans vote mainly Republican while Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans vote Democrat.
25 Voter Behavior5) Geography. The North tends to be more Democrat while the South and Midwest tend to lean toward the Republican Party.
26 Voter Behavior6) Family and other groups. Voters are influenced by their family, friends, classmates, co-workers, etc.
27 Psychological Factors Party Identification. A majority of Americans identify themselves with one or the other of the major parties. This is known as party identification. Party identification: The loyalty of people to a particular political party.A person who is a Democrat or a Republican will most likely vote for all of that party’s candidates. This is a practice known as straight-ticket voting. Straight-ticket voting: The practice of voting for candidates of only one party in an election.
28 Party Identification continued Party identification has lost some of its impact in recent years. One reason is the weakened condition of the parties themselves. Another is the marked increase in split-ticket voting. Split-ticket voting: the practice of voting for the candidates of more than one party in an election.Another sign of weakening is the growing number of independents. Independents: People who have no party affiliation.