VOTING AND ELECTIONS Chapter 12 Mr. Manzo American Government: Continuity and Change
ELECTIONS AND VOTING In this chapter we will cover… • The Functions of Elections • Different Types of Elections • Presidential Elections • Congressional Elections • Voting Behavior
The Functions of 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 • 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.
Different Kinds of Elections • Primary Elections • General Elections • Initiative, Referendum, and Recall • Initiativesallow citizens to propose legislation and submit it to popular vote. *5% or 8% • A referendum allows the legislature to submit proposed legislation for popular approval. *5% or 8% • Recall elections allow citizens to remove public official from office. *depends on state
Primary Election • Voters decide which of the candidates within their party will represent the party in the general election. • Narrows the field of candidates. • Usually in March or June depends on State.
Democrat Primary Republican Primary
California Semi Closed Primary • California has a "Modified Closed Primary System". Unaffiliated ("decline to state") voters may, if they wish, choose to vote for one party's candidates. The American Independent Party and the California Democratic Party, and the California Republican Party have agreed to let unaffiliated voters vote for their candidates. The Democratic Party and the Republican party will not permit unaffiliated voters to vote for their county central committees. Also, the Republican Party will not let unaffiliated voters select a presidential candidate
Closed Primary • Only declared party members, registered voters can vote in the primary. • Declare your loyalty.
Blanket Primary A blanket primary system, voters are not required to affiliate with a political party and may vote for any candidate on the ballot. The candidate from each political party who receives the most votes in the primary advances to the general election. Raiding – organized attempt by voters of one party to influence the primary results of the other party.
Run-Off Primary • Second primary election between two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes in the first primary.
Non – Partisan Primary • Primary used to select candidates regardless of party affiliation • For Example - Judges, School Board, Tax Assessor, Sheriff
General Election • Winners of the Democratic and Republican Primaries face off in the November General Election. • Registered Voters decide which candidate will fill elective public office.
Initiatives • Initiativesallow citizens to propose legislation and submit it to popular vote. • Proposition 47, the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2002, authorizes a $13.05 billion bond to relieve overcrowding; accommodate new students; make safety repairs; and upgrade California’s elementary, middle and high schools,community colleges, and universities.
Referendum • A referendum allows the legislature to submit proposed legislation for popular approval. • California Referendum Mandates 'English-only'
Recall • Recall elections allow citizens to remove public officials from office. • Recalls are part of representative democracy.
Presidential Elections12.4 Describe the means that citizens use to participate in the political process (e.g., voting, campaigning) • Choosing the nation’s chief executive is a long, exhilarating, 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.
National Convention Delegates • Winner – Take – All • Proportional Representation – proportional to popular votes (Democrats and Republicans) • Caucus – oldest, party-oriented, closed doors reformed to primary election. Considered elitist and undemocratic because party bosses told delegates who to vote for.
Iowa Caucus • Iowa Caucus February 1, 2016 (Dems & Reps) • Frontloading –Scheduling presidential primaries earlier in the primary season in an effort to achieve a greater impact. • as a result of frontloading, candidates need to be better organized sooner than ever. Candidates are now constantly campaigning, touring, doing book deals because they need more money upfront. It's had a profound effect on campaign strategies. • Has increasingly cramped the schedule of primaries.
Presidential Primaries • February 9, 2016 NH Primary. • Sine 1952 the primary in the state of New Hampshire has been the first and most important as it gives an indication of public opinion with regards to the voters. • A candidate must do well here as a failure to do so could mean a drastic fall in that candidate’s financial status as backers might pull out • Also a failure in the New Hampshire primary might just seal the fate of that candidate who might get labeled a failure even before the nomination contest has got underway.
New Hampshire Primary Democrats Republicans Mitt Romney John McCain George W. Bush John McCain Pat Buchanan George H.W. Bush George H.W. Bush Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan 1/24/2012 Barack Obama 1/8/2008 Hilary Clinton 1/27/2004 John Kerry 2/1/2000 Al Gore 2/26/1996 Bill Clinton 2/18/1992 Paul Tsongas 2/16/1988 Michael Dukakis 2/28/1984 Gary Hart 2/26/1980 Jimmy Carter
California Primary • California is a vital state to win. June 7th, 2016. Winning here is very important as the state sends 20% of all the delegates to both party’s national conventions. • The move to February was meant to symbolize how important this state is politically regardless of "Super Tuesday". Pennsylvania has its primary in April. By then, America will have a reasonably good idea as to who the Democrat and Republican nominations are.
Democratic Party National Convention • Philadelphia July 25-28 What is a Political Convention? • A fixture of American politics for over a century, the Democrats, Republicans, and many other national political parties have held conventions to nominate their party's candidates for president and vice president, as well as to gather together the varying viewpoints and disparate regions of the party to debate and then select a platform that outlines the party's positions on the relevant issues of the campaign. • As well as select a Presidential Nominee.
Republican Party National Convention • The Republican National Convention was be held in Cleveland, Ohio • Week of July 18-21, 2016.
Libertarian Party National Convention • Orlando, Florida May 27 to May 30, 2016
Green Party National Convention • Green Party National ConventionHouston, Texas, August 4-7
Delegates to National Convention • Interested in politics, more ideological, educated and wealthier than most citizens. • Tuesday 2 March 2008: For example, 241 district delegates are to be allocated proportionally to presidential contenders based on the primary results in each of California’s 53 congressional districts. • For example - California Democrats will have: • CDs 20, 47: 3 • CDs 2, 3, 11, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 31, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49, 51, 52: 4 • CDs 1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15, 17, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 33, 35, 36, 37, 50, 53: 5 • CDs 6, 8, 9, 12, 14, 30: 6
Super delegates Seated automatically, based solely on their status as current or former party leaders and elected officials ("PLEOs"). PLEO Categories [in order]:-- big-city mayors (population 250,000 or more) and statewide elected officials.-- state legislative leaders and state legislators-- other state, county and local elected officials-- California Democratic Party leaders CALIFORNIA TOTAL 441 total delegate votes - 241 district / 81 at large; 48 Pledged PLEOs; 66 Unpledged PLEOs; 5 unpledged additions.
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 Presidential Election 2000 Does your vote matter?
Democratic Practice and TheoryBerelson, et al. • Classical Requirements: Interest, Participation in political affairs, Knowledge, Rationality. -Thesis-apathy plays an important part in the democratic process, the system cannot stand everyone being politically active at the same time.
The Responsible ElectorateV.O. Key • Argument: Voters are not the fools that many politicians and their advisors take them to be. • Electorate behaves rationally and responsibly. • “Voice of the people is but an echo.” • “If the people can choose only from among rascals, they are certain to choose a rascal.”
Patterns of Presidential Elections • Party Realignmentsare rare occurrences in which existing party affiliations change dramatically. • Secular Realignmentis the gradual shifting of party coalitions.
Congressional Elections12.4 Describe the means that citizens use to participate in the political process (e.g., voting, campaigning) 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. • Can you identify and explain Six (6) reasons for the high % of incumbency re-election rates in the House?
Incumbency Incumbency advantage – the electoral edge afforded to those already in office…gained via… • Edge in visibility (name recognition) • Experience (elected official) • Organization (manage two offices, Home District & Washington plus staff) • Fund raising ability (PAC’s) • Credit Claiming • Earmarks (Pork barrel) • Constituency Service • Position Taking • Franking privilege • Gerrymandering
Why Incumbents Lose • Redistricting • Can punish incumbents in the out-of-power party • Scandals • Sexual improprieties • Corruption • Presidential Coattails • Incumbent presidential election loss can trickle down • Mid-Term Elections • Can threaten incumbents of president’s party
Quick History of Voting Rights • 15 Amendment – Blacks right to vote. • 19th Amendment – women right to vote • 24th Amendment – banned Poll Tax, gave the poor right to vote • 26th Amendment – 18 year olds • All 3 opened up the franchise (right to vote)
California Voting Qualifications You may register to vote if you meet ALL of the following criteria: • A citizen of the United States • A resident of California • At least 18 years of age as of the day of the next election • Not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony • Not declared to be mentally incompetent by a court.
Felon Voting Rights By State Permanent Disenfranchisement for All Felony Offenders Kentucky Virginia Permanent Disenfranchisement for at Least Some Offenders Alabama Arizona Delaware Florida Mississippi Nebraska Nevada Tennessee Voting Rights Restored After Completion of Sentence Including Parole and Probation Alaska Arkansas Georgia Idaho Iowa Kansas Louisiana Maryland Minnesota Missouri New Jersey New Mexico North Carolina Oklahoma South Carolina Texas Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Voting Rights Restored After Completion of Sentence Including Parole (Probationers Can Vote) California Colorado Connecticut New York South Dakota Voting Rights Restored After Completion of Sentence (Parolees and Probationers Can Vote) District of Columbia Hawaii Illinois Indiana Massachusetts Michigan Montana New Hampshire North Dakota Ohio Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island Utah No Disenfranchisement of Felony Offenders Maine Vermont • www.projectvote.org
Motor Voter Law • Since 6/19/95 when NVRA began • 11,452, 900 million people have reregistered to vote in conjunction with the Motor Voter Law.
Obstacles to Vote • Literacy Test • Poll Tax • White Primaries • Racial Gerrymandering All unconstitutional
Voting Protections via the National Government • Civil Rights Acts of 1957 (Blacks Right to vote) • Civil Rights Acts of 1960 (penalties for obstruction to vote) & 1964 (end segregation) • Voting Rights Acts of 1965 (outlawed discriminatory voting practices) • The Voting Rights Act was readopted and strengthened in 1970, 1975, and 1982. (no literacy tests, Justice Dept)
NON – VOTINGThe Size of the Problem Election President Turnout % Congress % 1988Bush 41/Dukakis 50.1% 44.9% • Bush 41/Clinton 55.1% 50.7% • Clinton/Dole 48.9% 45.6% 2000Bush 43/Gore 50.7% 45.5% • Bush 43/Kerry 55.4% 52.3% • Obama/McCain 61.6 % 54% 2012 Obama/Romney 58.2% 51% About ½ of the VAP (Voting Age Population) turnout in a presidential election. According to Verba & Nie 72% of voters report voting in presidential elections.