Ch. 7 The Electoral Process
Five Methods of Nomination Self-Announcement (incl. all write-ins) The Caucus – private meetings of local bigwigs that used to choose candidates. Rarely used today. Conventions – local districts select delegates to represent them at a nat’l meeting where delegate is chosen.
4. The Direct Primary-An intra-party election to pick that party’s candidate Open Primary Any qualified voter can take part. Nonpartisan Primary Candidates are not identified by party labels Runoff Primary If no one gets a majority, the two people with the most votes run again Closed Primary Only declared party members can vote. Blanket Primary Qualified voters can vote for any candidate, regardless of party
5. Petition Candidates gather a required number of voters’ signatures to get on the ballot
But, Congress sets the logistics: CONGRESS SETS THE DATE:Congressional Elections- first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of every even-numbered year for congressional elections Presidential election – same day every fourth year The Administration of Elections Primarily a STATE power (why?)
CONGRESS TRIES TO INSURE FAIRNESS 1. Help America Vote Act of 2002 required States to: -Replace all lever-operated and punch-card voting devices by 2006 (most missed the deadline) -Provide better training for local election officials and volunteers -Centralize/computerize voter registration -Provide for provisional voting for those whose eligibility is temporarily challenged 2. Congress started ABSENTEE VOTING It spread to states. Now, there’s even EARLY VOTING.
Precincts A precinctis a voting district. Polling Places A polling place is where the voters who live in a precinct go to vote. It is located in or near each precinct. Precincts and Polling Places
Casting the Ballot We use the Australian Ballot: Provided at public expense Lists candidates Given out only at polls, one per voter Can be marked in secret Sample Ballots are often provided Bedsheet Ballots are often used, despite the risk of ballot fatigue Office-Group Ballots are used by most; a few use Party-Column ones
Sources of Funding Private and Public Sources of Campaign Money Nonparty groups such as PACs Small contributors Temporary fund-raising organizations Wealthy supporters Candidates Government subsidies
Regulating Campaign Financing • 1907 – No Corp or Nat’l Bank can fund campaigns • 1970s: Buckley v. Valeo invalidated some of the measures in the FECA Amendments of 1974, stipulating that the limits on spending only apply to candidates who accept campaign money from the government, not those who raise money independently.
Citizens United v. FEC (2010) Gov. ban on political spending by corp. or labor unions violates 1stAmendmen right to free speech.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) enforces: • the timely disclosure of campaign finance information • limits on campaign contributions • limits on campaign expenditures • provisions for public funding of presidential campaigns
Loopholes in the Law • Soft money—money given to State and local party organizations for “party-building activities” that is filtered to presidential or congressional campaigns • Independent campaign spending—a person unrelated and unconnected to a candidate or party can spend as much money as they want to benefit or work against candidates. • Issue ads—take a stand on certain issues in order to criticize or support a certain candidate without actually mentioning that person’s name.