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VOTING AND ELECTIONS

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VOTING AND ELECTIONS Chapter 13 O Connor and Sabato American Government: Continuity and Change – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: VOTING AND ELECTIONS


1
VOTING AND ELECTIONS
  • Chapter 13
  • OConnor and Sabato
  • American Government
  • Continuity and Change

2
VOTING AND ELECTIONS
  • In this chapter we will cover
  • The Purposes Served by Elections
  • Different Kinds of Elections
  • Presidential Elections
  • Congressional Elections
  • Voting Behavior
  • Reforming The Electoral Process

3
The Purposes Served by Elections
  • Most change in the United States comes about on
    the basis of elections.
  • Elections generally allow us to avoid
  • riots
  • general strikes
  • coups d'etats
  • Elections serve
  • to legitimate governments through the mandates of
    the electorate
  • to fill public offices and organize governments
  • to allow people with different views and policy
    agendas to come to power
  • to ensure that the government remains accountable
    to the people.

4
Different Kinds of Elections
  • Primary Elections
  • General Elections
  • Initiative, Referendum, and Recall
  • Initiatives allow citizens to propose legislation
    and submit it to popular vote.
  • A referendum allows the legislature to submit
    proposed legislation for popular approval.
  • Recall elections allow citizens to remove someone
    from office.

5
Presidential Elections
  • Choosing the nations chief executive is a long,
    exhilarating, and exhausting process that often
    begins even before the previous election ends.
  • The presidential election is held every four
    years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in
    November.

6
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7
Electoral College
  • The Electoral College was a compromise created by
    the Framers to ensure that the president was
    chosen intelligently and with the input of each
    of the states.
  • The number of electors is determined by the
    federal representation for each state.
  • For example, California has 52 members of the
    House of Representatives and 2 Senators 54
    electoral votes.

8
Electoral College
  • There are a total of 538 electoral votes (535
    members of Congress and 3 for the District of
    Columbia)
  • A majority of 270 wins the presidency.
  • Just as George W. Bush did in 2000, a candidate
    can win a majority of electoral votes with a
    minority of popular votes and still be elected to
    the office.

9
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10
Presidential Election 2000
  • Al Gore (D)
  • 50,996,116 votes
  • 48
  • 21 States Won
  • 266 Electoral Votes
  • George Bush (R)
  • 50,456,169 votes
  • 48
  • 30 States Won
  • 271 Electoral Votes

Does your vote matter?
11
Patterns of Presidential Elections
  • Party Realignments are rare occurrences in which
    existing party affiliations change dramatically.
  • Secular Realignment is the gradual shifting of
    party coalitions.

12
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13
Congressional Elections
  • In Congressional elections
  • candidates tend to be less visible.
  • most candidates are or were state legislators.
  • name recognition is often the most important
    battle of the campaign.
  • candidates receive little media coverage.

14
Incumbency
  • Incumbency advantage the electoral edge
    afforded to those already in officeachieved
    through
  • Higher visibility
  • Experience
  • Organization
  • Fund-raising ability

15
Voting Behavior
  • Voter Participation
  • About 40 of the eligible adult population votes
    regularly.
  • About 25 are occasional voters.
  • About 35 rarely or never vote.

16
Who Votes?
  • Income people with higher incomes have a higher
    tendency to vote.
  • Age older people tend to vote more often than
    younger people (less than half of eligible 18-24
    year olds are registered to vote).
  • Gender Since 1980, women have a higher tendency
    to vote for Democrats than Republicans.
  • Race in general, whites tend to vote more
    regularly than African-Americans (this may be due
    to income and education rather than race).

17
Does Low Voter Turnout Matter?
  • Is low voter turnout a problem in a democracy?
  • Do we want the uninformed or poor and uneducated
    voting? Might they make bad decisions?

18
Reforming the Electoral Process
  • Some possibilities
  • Abolition of the electoral college
  • The establishment of a permanent congressional
    district scheme
  • The elimination of the elector system
  • Nomination process by lottery New Hampshire not
    always first
  • Restructuring campaign finance laws
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