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Voting and Voter Participation


They used different colors of paper that allowed them to 'monitor' how people voted. ... 3. Most states make you register 30 days prior to the election. Who Can Vote? ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Voting and Voter Participation

Voting and Voter Participation
Will you be 18 on November 4th, 2008?
  • Yes
  • No

Are you registered to vote?
  • Yes
  • No

Could you have voted for the President in 1800?
  • Yes
  • No

How many times have we extended the right to vote
and to what groups?
  • Voting is the type of political activity most
    often engaged in by Americans.
  • The Electorate has expanded many times in
  • 1870- 15th amendment-black men right to vote
  • 1920- 19th amendment-women
  • 1924- Congress granted Native Americans
    citizenship and vote
  • 1964- 24th amendment prohibited use of poll tax
  • 1965- Voting Rights Act of 1995-removed
    restrictions that kept blacks from voting.
  • 1971-26th amendment, 18 year old vote

What Amendment guaranteed the right to vote for
  • 1870 13th Amendment
  • 1870 14th Amendment
  • 1870 15th Amendment
  • 1920 19th Amendment
  • 1964 24th Amendment
  • 1971 26th Amendment

What Amendment guaranteed the right to vote for
18 year olds?
  • 1870 13th Amendment
  • 1870 14th Amendment
  • 1870 15th Amendment
  • 1920 19th Amendment
  • 1964 24th Amendment
  • 1971 26th Amendment

What Amendment guaranteed the right to vote for
  • 1870 13th Amendment
  • 1870 14th Amendment
  • 1870 15th Amendment
  • 1920 19th Amendment
  • 1964 24th Amendment
  • 1971 26th Amendment

Elections in the 1800s were different
  • Parties prepared ballots in 1800s.
  • They used different colors of paper that allowed
    them to monitor how people voted.
  • Reform led us to the Australian ballot-devised
    in Australia in 1856.
  • We moved to this type of ballot in the early
  • it is printed by the state-public expense,
  • it lists the candidates names,
  • it is given out at the polls,
  • it is secret

Elections Today
  • Today we are voting electronically (with voting
    machines) and there are a lot of problems with
    this new technology.

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Here are some sample Ballots
  • Travis County Sample Ballot
  • http//
  • Williamson County Sample Ballot
  • http//

Voting Today
  • All neighborhoods are divided into voting
    districts or precincts of about 500-1000 people.
  • This precinct number allow you to find your
    polling place place where you go to vote
  • Poll watchers are assigned to the polls, one from
    each party to challenge anyone they believe is
    not qualified to vote.

Elections today are
  • Done on Australian Ballots
  • Done at precincts
  • All done electronically
  • Paid for by political parties
  • All of the above

Elections are conducted at
  • Precincts
  • Polling locations
  • Elementary schools
  • Voting districts

In which Presidential election did the highest
percentage of the electorate actually vote?
  • 1960
  • 1968
  • 1972
  • 1980
  • 1996
  • 2000
  • 2004

Voter Turnout
  • We hold more elections for more offices than
    others countries do.
  • Our highest turnout is in presidential general
    elections. We also turn out more for federal
    elections more than local does.
  • 1960, we peaked at 63 of people over 21.
  • http//
  • Turnout should have gone up since 1960 because of
    the Voting Rights Act.
  • Women have increased their voting turnout.
  • The electorate has grown richer and more
    educated it seems we would have an increase
    because of that.

Registration and Voting
  • Registration tends to discourage voting. Most
    other democracies have automatic voter
  • Average voter turnout in the U.S. is more than 30
    points lower than other democracies.
  • Registration varies from state to state.
  • Every state except North Dakota requires
  • 3 states permit election-day voter registration.
  • In most states, 30 days residency is needed, and
    you must register 30 days prior to an election.

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Why is Voter Turnout so Low?
  • 85 million eligible Americans fail to vote in
    presidential elections why?
  • People are lazy, they are apathetic, and voter
    registration appears to be the major block to

What percentage of eligible voters aged 18-25
voted in the 2004 election?
  • 100
  • 80
  • 60
  • 50
  • 44

There has been a decline of voter turnout since
1960 because of the 26th amendment lowered
voting age to 18 it expanded the electorate,
but lowered the overall turnout percentage,
because this block of young voters just dont
Why is Voter Turnout so Low?
  • Others say, there is not a candidate who is
  • Candidates themselves are not real choices.
  • They are not exciting, and they avoid taking
    stands on issues.

Who is most likely to vote?
  • Christians
  • People 18-25
  • High School grads
  • College grads
  • African-Americans

Who Votes?
  • What kinds of things help us to predict who
    will/does vote?
  • Level of education helps predict whether people
    will vote, as education increases, so does the
    propensity to vote.
  • Race and ethnicity are also linked to voting in
    large part because they are correlated to

Who is most likely to vote?
  • Parents of young children
  • People age 18-25
  • People over 70
  • People age 55-70

Who Votes?
  • Income and age are also important.
  • Those with higher income vote more.
  • 18-24 year olds vote the least
  • People over 70 also have low voter turnout.

How can you vote in Texas?
  • Register on election day
  • Anyone with a drivers license can vote
  • Register 30 days prior to the election
  • Register online

Who Can Vote?
  • 1. In the State of Texas, you must be registered
    to vote.
  • 2. In Texas, you must be a citizen and a resident
    of the state for 30 days.
  • 3. Most states make you register 30 days prior to
    the election.

Who Can Vote?
  • 4. In Texas, if you will be 18 soon, you can
    register 60 days before your birthday BUT you
    must be 18 on election day in order to vote.
  • 5. All States require registration EXCEPT North
  • 6. Maine and Washington allow you to register at
    any time up to and including the day of the

Who are the CAN NOT voters?
  • 1. Aliens (non-citizens) even though nothing in
    Constitution disallows them-states choose (p.132)
  • 2. convicted felons lose privilege
  • 3. some religious disallow people to vote.
  • 4. some are physically ill and can not get to the
  • 5. mentally restrained in institutions.

What is a NON VOTER?
  • 1. People that choose not to
  • 2. Voter who thinks vote does not count
  • 3. People who are satisfied with the status quo
  • 4. Those who distrust the government
  • 5. Those who are not interested
  • 6. Those who are not registered
  • 7. Most of the time these are the NON VOTERS-
    younger than 35, unmarried, unskilled,
    uneducated, live in rural areas, in the South.
  • 8. Band wagon effect (choose not to because
    everyone else has already voted one way)
  • 9. Bad weather, long lines, inconvenient
  • 10 Non voters who vote (vote top of ticket, leave
    bottom blank-ballot fatigue)

What Factors influence us to vote?
  • Psychological- how do you feel about the issues?
    How do you feel about the candidates-what are
    your perceptions?
  • Sociological-groups that you belong to-age,
    occupation, religion, geographical area in which
    you live, sex, education, party identification.
  • Party identification is the single most
    significant and lasting predictor of whether a
    person will vote, it is also the most important
    factor that brings us to the polls.

Voting Choices
  • Party ID- has a lot to do with ones evaluation
    of candidates and often predicts a persons stand
    on issues.
  • 2/3rd of all independents are, in fact, partisan
    in their voting behavior, meaning they have two
    choices-vote democrat or republican. Independent
    democrats vote democrat. Independent republicans
    vote republican.
  • Voting on the Basis of Candidates-the 1980s
    marked the emergence of candidate-centered
    elections. Greater weight given to the
    candidates strengths and weaknesses is not new.

Voting Choices
  • Most scholars agree, issues are NOT as central to
    the decision process as partisanship and
    candidate appeal. Candidates are intentionally
    vague on their positions. By not detailing their
    plan, they can appeal to the middle.
  • The state of the economy is often the central
    issue in midterm elections. It is common for the
    presidents party to lose seats in Congress in
    the off-year elections.

Voting Choices
  • Voters tend to see the responsibility of the
    economy resting more with the president than with
    Congress, governors, or local officials.
  • Less-educated people tend to judge a candidate on
    the basis of their own financial standings.
    Upper-status voters are more likely to watch the
    overall performance of the economy.

Some cool voting websites
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//