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Voting and elections. Step 1. Have to be registered—2 weeks before Increase turnout? Ease registration, voting? Require voting? Holidays?. Partisan versus non-partisan elections. local elections and state judges are often “non-partisan”. State elections-- More “Progressive” legacy.

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Presentation Transcript
step 1
Step 1
  • Have to be registered—2 weeks before
  • Increase turnout?
  • Ease registration, voting?
  • Require voting?
  • Holidays?
partisan versus non partisan elections
Partisan versus non-partisan elections
  • local elections and state judges are often “non-partisan”
state elections more progressive legacy
State elections--More “Progressive” legacy
  • special elections
  • recall
  • Initiatives
  • The voice of the people or special interests?
  • Constraining the role of legislators?
primaries and general elections
Primaries and General Elections
  • Primary: Choosing the candidates to compete in the General Election
  • General Election: choosing among the candidates to hold office
presidential primaries including caucuses
Presidential primaries (including caucuses)
  • Each state and the parties choose how to elect delegates to the national convention
  • primary or caucus
  • Primaries can be “open” (blanket), “closed” or “semi closed”
the party convention
The Party Convention
  • in most cases now delegates are “committed”, according to result of state’s primary
  • so outcome of convention is pre-determined--just a pep-rally with a platform
general election for president electoral college
General Election for President: Electoral College
  • Each state gets as many electors as it has members of US House and Senate--minimum of 3 per state
  • Almost every state awards its votes “winner take all”, so again electoral vote need not equal popular vote
  • Abolish or Reform?
congressional elections
Congressional elections
  • Incumbents re-elected over 90%, receive most of the money
  • 435 House districts, reapportioned every 10 years by census, reflecting pop change
  • State legislature determines their own districts, and for their state’s congressional reps
  • Redistricting or “Gerrymandering”

Mystery state A:

60% Rep and 40% Dem

gerrymandering contd
Gerrymandering, contd
  • Current trend:
  • Computers exacerbate gerrymandering
  • Types
  • Partisan
  • Racial
  • Incumbent
incumbency advantage
Incumbency Advantage
  • Why?
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy
  • term limits?
  • at state level, not federal
  • Good and bad
who votes
Who votes?
  • The old
  • The educated
  • The wealthy
  • The white
who can t
Who Can’t
  • The incarcerated, on probation or parole, or felons--depending on the state
campaign finance
Campaign finance
  • Campaigns increasingly expensive--mostly for TV ads

TV political ads in millions

attempts to fix the problem
Attempts to fix the problem
  • Since 70s, contributions are registered, limited, and if by corporations or unions, routed through PACs
  • 1976 USSC throws out mandatory spending limits
  • Present effort to buck Buckley
  • 2002 Campaign finance--McCain Feingold abolishes “soft money” in federal elections, continues contribution limits
  • but campaign spending continues to grow
election reform
Election Reform
  • Money--public funding for candidates--”clean elections”--including funds to match opponents private funding