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Chapter 6 Voters and Voter Behavior Section 4: Voter Behavior PowerPoint Presentation
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Chapter 6 Voters and Voter Behavior Section 4: Voter Behavior. Lesson Objectives: By the end of this lesson you will be able to: Examine the problem of nonvoting in America. Identify those people who typically do not vote. Examine the behavior of those who vote and those who do not.

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Chapter 6

Voters and Voter Behavior

Section 4: Voter Behavior

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Lesson Objectives:

By the end of this lesson you will be able to:

Examine the problem of nonvoting in America.

Identify those people who typically do not vote.

Examine the behavior of those who vote and those who do not.

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Nonvoting

On Election day in 2008, there were an estimated 228 million persons of voting age in the U.S. Only about 131 million of them (60%) actually voted in the presidential election. Nearly 100 million persons who could have voted did not.

Why People Do Not Vote

Cannot-voters- For one reason or another, these people “cannot” vote.

*Aliens (10 million people)

*Sick or physically unable (5-6 million)

*Traveling suddenly (2-3 million)

*In mental heath facilities (500,000)

*In jail/prison (2 million)

*Religious beliefs do not allow them to vote (100,000)

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Actual Nonvoters

In 2008, more than 80 million Americans who could have voted in the presidential election did not. There are many reasons why people choose not to vote.

*People feel like their vote will not make a difference

*People feel like no matter who wins an election, things will remain the same.

*People do not trust the government and do not wish to participate in the election process.

*Uninformed, do not know anything

about the candidates or issues.

*Inconvenient registration requirements

*long ballots

*long lines

*bad weather

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Comparing Voters & Nonvoters

Numerous studies have been conducted comparing voters and nonvoters. Here are the results.

Voters

*High levels of education

*Higher income levels

*Well integrated into community life

*Long time/active residents

*May have strong sense of party identification

Nonvoters

*Younger than age 35

*Unmarried

*Unskilled

*Live in the South or rural areas

*Men more than women

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Voters and Voting Behavior

Most of what is known about voter behavior comes from three sources:

The results of elections- Voting is private and confidential, but researchers can study how cities, regions, and states voted as a whole.

Survey research- Phone surveys, internet surveys, etc.

Studies of political socialization- Political socialization is the process by which people gain their political attitudes and opinions.

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Family and Other Groups

Your family, friends, and the people around you also play a role in deciding how to vote. The following groups can influence what you believe in and how you think and act.

*Family- most people vote the way their family votes

*Friends- You choose your friends based on common interests

*Co-workers- You share a common bond with the people you work with.

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Psychological Factors

These are the ways that the voter feels about politics: how they see and react to the parties, the candidates, and the issues in an election.

Party Identification (Party Loyalty)- Many Americans identify themselves with one of the two major parties early in life.

Straight Ticket Voting- People who are loyal to a major political party vote for that party on every issue and for every candidate.

Split-Ticket Voting- People who go back and forth between the two major parties while voting.

Independents- No party loyalty.

Candidates & Issues- The way a candidate presents him/herself and current issues also have an effect on the way people vote.