Chapter 17 elections and voting
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Chapter 17 Elections and Voting. Section 1 Election Campaigns. Electing the President. Serious candidates for president begin organizing over a year before the election to compete in spring primaries.

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Chapter 17Elections and Voting

Section 1

Election Campaigns

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Electing the President

  • Serious candidates for president begin organizing over a year before the election to compete in spring primaries.

  • After the nominating convention, the candidate runs an intensive campaign from early September until the November election.

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Electing the President

  • To win presidential election, a candidate must receive a majority of the electoral votes so candidates compete hardest in high-population states.

  • The candidate must decide on the kind of strategy most likely to achieve victory.

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Electing the President

  • A strong organization, headed by an experienced campaign manager, is essential in running a presidential campaign.

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Electing the President

  • Television and the Internet are important tools for presidential candidates. Television conveys the candidate’s image, while Web Sites can be used to raise money and inform the public about the candidate.

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Discussion Question

  • Describe the image that Barack Obama portrays in the ad.

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Financing Campaigns

  • Running for office is very expensive. For example, presidential and concessional candidates spent a total of $3billion dollars in the 2002 elections.

  • In the 1970’s, a new campaign financing system was set up based on public disclosure of spending, public funding or presidential elections, and limiting or prohibiting the contributions of certain groups.

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Financing Campaigns

  • Created in 1974, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent agency that administers federal election laws and keeps records of campaign contributions.

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Financing Campaigns

  • The majority of campaign funding comes from private sources, including individual citizens, party organizations, corporations, and special-interest groups.

  • Political Action Committees, or PAC’s are established by interest groups to support candidates, but they are limited in the donations they can make.

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Financing Campaigns

  • Two methods are used to get around campaign spending limits:

    • Soft-money donations – contributions given directly to the political party

    • Issue-advocacy advertisements – support an issue rather than a particular candidate.

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Financing Campaigns

  • The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, passed in 2002 bands soft-money donations to Political Parties.

  • The FEC regulates campaigns online. All campaign Web sites that cost $250 or more must be registered with the FEC.

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Discussion Question

  • What reforms, or changes, of the campaign finance laws would you like to see enacted. Why?

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Chapter 17Elections and Voting

Section 2

Expanding Voting Rights

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Early Limitations on Voting

  • Before the American Revolution, women and African Americans, white males who did not own property and persons who were not members of dominant religious groups were excluded from voting.

  • During the early 1800s, states gradually abolished property and religious requirements for voting, and by the mid-1800s, the nation had achieved universal white male suffrage.

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Discussion Question

  • Analyze this statement: “Voting is not just a right, it is a responsibility.”

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Woman’s Suffrage

  • By 1914 woman had won the right to vote in 11 states.

  • The Nineteenth Amendment ratified after World War I, granted women in all states the right to vote.

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African American Suffrage

  • Enslaved African Americans were not allowed to vote, and free African Americans could vote in only a few states, until 1870.

  • The Fifteenth Amendment, passed after the Civil War, granted the vote to African Americas in both state and national elections.

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African American Suffrage

  • The Fifteenth Amendment did not result in full voting rights for African Americans. Southern states set up restrictive voting qualifications.

  • Some southern states used literacy tests to disqualify African Americans from voting. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and 1970 outlawed these tests.

  • Poll taxes, or money payments required before voting, and grandfather clauses, excusing white voters from paying the tax, were devices used to discourage African Americans from voting

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African American Suffrage

  • The Twenty-fourth Amendment banned poll taxes.

  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and later voting rights laws brought the federal government directly into the electoral process in the states, ending official discrimination against African Americans and increasing their political strength and participation in the government.

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Discussion Question

  • If the Fifteenth Amendment was supposed to give African Americans the right to vote, why was the Voting Rights Act of 1965 necessary?

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Twenty-sixth Amendment

  • This amendment lowered the voting age to 18 throughout the nation.

  • The amendment helped satisfy those young people who could be drafted into the military but could not vote.

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Chapter 17Elections and Voting

Section 3

Influences on Voters

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Personal Background of Voters

  • Voters’ ages may affect their views and determine their voting decisions.

  • Education, religion, and racial or ethnic background affect voters’ attitudes, but voters do not always vote in keeping with their backgrounds.

  • Cross-pressured voters, those caught between conflicting elements in their lives, may vote based on the issues and candidates.

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Discussion Question

  • In your opinion, what has the largest influence on a voters decision? Explain.

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Loyalty to Political Parties

  • Because the majority of American voters consider themselves either Republicans or Democrats, most vote for their party’s candidates.

  • Not all party members vote for all their party’s candidates. Some are strong party voters and others are weak party voters.

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Loyalty to Political Parties

  • Independent voters, who have increased in numbers do not belong to either major party but are an important element in presidential elections.

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Issues in Election Campaigns

  • Many current voters are better informed than past voters because they are better educated, current issues have a greater impact on their personal lives, and television news imparts information on issues. Still most voters are not fully informed on campaign issues.

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Issues in Election Campaigns

  • The 1980 presidential election demonstrated the importance of issues. The high rate of inflation, the high cost of living, and the high rate of unemployment were issues debated by the candidates that clearly helped Reagan win the election.

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Discussion Question

  • What were some of the big topics that affected the Presidential Election?

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The Candidates Image

  • Americans want someone they can trust as a national leader.

  • Voters often select candidates for the image they project.

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Discussion Question

  • Do the campaigns focus too much on image in a positive or negative light?

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  • Political Parties and candidates use ideas, information, and rumors to influence voters with propaganda techniques.

  • Name calling, testimonials, bandwagon, transfer, plain folks, and card stacking help to win votes.

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Profile of Regular Voters

  • Regular voters have positive attitudes toward government and citizenship.

  • Generally, regular voters have more education and a higher than average income. Middle aged citizens have the highest voter turnout.

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Profile of Nonvoters

  • They may not meet citizenship, residency, and registration requirements.

  • The percentage of voters among those who are eligible has declined.

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Discussion Question

  • What steps do you think might be effective in increasing voter turnout?