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Voters and Voting Behavior


Voters and Voting Behavior Who Can Vote? In 1789, not many people could vote. Only white male property owners could vote. Today, any citizen 18 years old or over and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Voters and Voting Behavior

Chapter 6
  • Voters and Voting Behavior

Who Can Vote?
  • In 1789, not many people could vote.
  • Only white male property owners could vote.
  • Today, any citizen 18 years old or over and is a
    legal resident of the state in which he/she votes
    is eligible to vote. (Universal Requirements)
  • Registration 49/50
  • There was a long evolution to get to where we are

Expanding the Electorate
  • Todays electorate (potential voting population)
    is more than 225 million people.
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  • Extending suffrage (franchise) to this large
    group occurred through new legislation, social
    changes and a lot of patience.
  • There has been a gradual increase in the federal
    governments power to control suffrage, taking
    power away from the states.

Expanding the Electorate (6.1)
  • Expanding the electorate occurred in 5 different
  • 1) Early 1800s Eliminated religious, property
    and tax requirements- Nearly all white adult
    males could vote
  • 2) 1870 15th Amendment Racial
  • - Still, for another 100 years,
    African-Americans were barred from voting.

Expanding the Electorate
  • 3) 1920 19th Amendment Gender
  • 19th Amendment clip
  • 4) 1960s Race
  • - African-Americans truly given the right to
  • - Voting Rights Act of 1965, 24th Amendment
    (Poll Taxes)
  • 5) 1971 26th Amendment - 18 year old maximum
  • - Was 21 Why lower?
  • - Younger? Why?

Suffrage and Civil Rights (6.3 6.2)
  • African-Americans were given the right to vote
    with the 15th Amendment in 1870.
  • Not self-executing took nearly 100 years until
    African-Americans could vote.
  • Methods of Discrimination
  • Poll taxes began in 1889 and spread to each
    state in the South
  • Grandfather clause
  • 24th Amendment

Civil Rights (cont.)
  • Methods (cont.)
  • Literacy tests
  • Began in NE (Irish Catholics)
  • Gerrymandering
  • Redrawing district lines to limit the vote of a
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  • White Primaries
  • Political parties are private organizations so
    they can include/exclude who they wanted
    primary elections

Literacy Test Examples
  • Read or copy part of Constitution
  • Difficult passages
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  • Answer civics questions
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  • Answer literacy trick questions
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  • African Americans could also be arrested or
    threatened for traveling to poll places

Civil Rights Legislation
  • Civil Rights Acts of 1957 1960
  • Tried to enforce the 15th Amendment prevent
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Bans discrimination in the workforce
  • Bans discriminatory voter registration or
    literacy requirements
  • Allowed for injunctions court order forcing (or
    limiting) someone to do something.

Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Most important actually enforces 15th Amend.
  • Applied to all elections federal and local.
  • Originally only 5 years, but has been renewed
    several times.
  • Poll taxes, literacy tests, other discriminatory
  • Preclearance State needs prior approval to
    change election laws if found to be
    discriminatory in the past
  • Language minority bilingual ballots if 10,000
    people in electorate
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Voter Behavior Today (6.4)
  • Idiots
  • A Greek word for someone who did not vote
  • Some people have legitimate reasons for not
    voting, but most do not.
  • Only 55-60 of the electorate votes in
    Presidential elections.
  • Much smaller percentage for off-year elections.
  • Less than 50 of 18-24 year olds vote
  • Nonvoting voters
  • Ballot fatigue

Why People Do Not Vote
  • Cannot-Voters
  • These are people with a legitimate reason not to
  • 10 million arent citizens
  • 5-6 million who are sick/physically disabled
  • 2-3 million who suddenly travel
  • 500,000 in mental facilities
  • 2 million in jails prisons
  • 100,000 because of religious beliefs (idolatry)
  • Factors Affecting Turnout
  • Comparing Voters and Nonvoters

Why People Dont Vote (cont.)
  • Actual Nonvoters
  • About 80 million people just dont vote
  • Some are happy with the way things are so feel no
    need to vote.
  • Some dont trust government and the system
  • Many lack political efficacy they feel that
    they have no influence

Why People Dont Vote (cont.)
  • Factors Affecting Turnout
  • Difficult election procedures
  • Registration, long ballots, long lines
  • Bad weather
  • Time-zone fallout
  • Lack of interest
  • Solutions?

Why People Dont Vote (cont.)
  • Comparing Voters and Nonvoters
  • More likely to vote wealthier, well-educated,
    good job, involved in community, long-time
    residents, married, over 35, strong party
  • South and rural areas have more non-voters
  • The more competitive a race, the more voters.

Voter Behavior
  • Political Socialization
  • Birth - death
  • Factors that influence voters
  • Sociological Factors
  • Income, occupation, education, gender (gender
    gap), age, religion, geography.
  • Family
  • Psychological Factors
  • Straight-ticket vs. Split-ticket voting
  • Party Identification loyalty to a party
  • Independents