Methods of Voting Methods of Voting Office

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11/30/2011
Voter Turnout & Why Your Vote
Doesn’t Matter
Methods of Voting
• Australian Ballot: Secret ballot
EST. 1787
Fitz- APGOV
Methods of Voting
Office-Group Ballot
• Voice Voting: State vote out loud
Party-Column Ballot
2000 Florida Butterfly Ballot
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Straight-Ticket Voting
Electronic Voting
Voter fatigue
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Registering to Vote: We’ve
Made it Pretty Easy
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10
Referendums
• Registering To Vote
– Left up to the States
by the Constitution
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Registering to Vote: We’ve
Made it Pretty Easy
– Motor Voter Act:
passed in 1993,
requires states to
permit people to
register to vote
when they apply
for their driver’s
license
Who votes?
Education: More education = more likely
to vote.
• Most important factor!
• Family= most important for party
– Older = more likely to vote
– Race: Caucasian = more likely to vote.
BUT, other ethnicities are higher with
comparable education
– Female = more likely to vote
Who votes?
– Marital Status: Married = more likely to
vote
– Union Membership: Union member =
more likely to vote
– Traits are cumulative - possessing
several adds up
How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’
Decisions
• Mandate Theory of
Elections
– The idea that the
winning candidate
has a mandate from
the people to carry
out his or her
platforms and
politics
How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’
Decisions
• Party Identification
– People still generally vote for a party
they agree with.
– Rise of candidates= Drop in importance
of parties
– Since 1972- More about the presidential
CANIDATE
Would Hayes and Arthur have made it
on the ballot if television had been around?
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Winning an election is about
the image
• What images come to mind on the
following slides?…
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How Americans Vote: Explaining
Citizens’ Decisions
How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’
Decisions
Who would you vote for?
• Candidate Evaluations: How Americans See the
Candidates
– Candidates want a good visual image.
– Personality plays a role in vote choice, especially if a
candidate is perceived to be incompetent or
dishonest.
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How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’
Decisions
• Policy Voting
– Basing your vote on issues
– Policy voting may occur if:
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28
How Americans Vote: Explaining Citizens’
Decisions
– Policy voting will unlikely occur because:
• Candidates can be ambiguous on the issues.
• Media tend to focus on the “horse race” not issues.
• Voters know where they and the candidates stand on issues
and see differences between candidates.
.
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Understanding Campaigns and Voting
Behavior
Understanding Campaigns and Voting
Behavior
• Do Campaigns Lead to an
Increased Scope of Government?
• Do Elections Affect
Public Policy?
– Candidates make numerous
promises, especially to state and local
interests.
– Hard for politicians to promise to cut
size of government
– Candidates do not
always clarify issues
– Ambiguity is the key to
winning
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33
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Understanding Elections and Voting
Behavior
• Elections and the Scope of
Government
– Elections generally support government
policies and power.
– Voters feel they are sending a message
to government to accomplish something
– Thus, the government expands to fill the
needs of the voters.
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35
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Summary
• Campaigns are media-oriented and expensive,
but are not likely to change minds.
• Money and contributions from PACs regulated
by the FEC are essential to campaigns.
• Voters make two basic decisions at election
time: whether to vote and for whom to vote.
• Party identification, candidate evaluations, and
policy positions drive vote choice.
Sort and Count the Votes
(beans)
Election Day!
Lima= large beans
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39
Black= small beans
One bean=1 million votes
Electoral College
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Analyzing Political Cartoons
Election 2000: Bush vs. Gore
States Won
Bush
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Gore
21
Gore Wins Popular Vote By 500K+, But Loses?
Today’s Electoral College
Constitutional Convention
Compromise between a direct popular election
and Congress electing the President
State Elections
Series of 51 separate elections
Electoral Votes
Each State receives a number of electoral votes
equal to its number of members in Congress
◦ 538 Total = House (435) + Senate (100) + DC (3)
Today’s Electoral College
No Majority
• House elects a President from top 3
electoral vote candidates
– One vote per State
– Majority needed to win (26)
• Senate elects VP from top 2 electoral
vote candidates
– One vote per Senator
– Majority needed to win (51)
Today’s Electoral College
General Election
• On election day, actually voting for which
political party’s presidential electors will
represent the State at the Electoral
College
Winner-Take-All
• Except for ME and NE, the popular vote
winner in the State will receive all of the
State’s electoral votes
Magic Number
• A majority of electoral votes is needed to
win the presidency (i.e., 270)
Counting Electoral Votes
Election Day
Votes Counted
Tuesday after first Monday in November
Voters cast ballots for slate of electors
January 3
Electoral votes counted before
a joint session of Congress
NOVEMBER
Electoral College Vote
Monday after the second Wednesday in December
Winning electors meet in State capitals and vote
for President and VP
DECEMBER
JANUARY
Inauguration
January 20
President is sworn into office
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Flaws of the Electoral
College
Flaws of the Electoral
College
FLAW #1: Popular Vote Winner Loses
• Reason 1: No Points For 2nd Place
FLAW #1: Popular Vote Winner Loses
• Reason 2: Small States Over Weighted
Candidate A
CA (55 EV)
10M
AK (3 EV)
400K
10.4M Total
Total
Population
CA (55 EV)
30M
AK (3 EV)
1M
Candidate B
10.1M
100K
3 EV
10.2M
Power
1/545K
1/333K
*CA has 30X more people,
but only about 18X more EV
55 EV
Flaws of the Electoral
College
2000 Nightmare
FLAW #2: Faithless Electors
• Electors are not bound to vote for State election
winner
• 85 votes have been changed to due elector interest
• 24 states have laws to punish electors after they cast
their vote
Flaw #3: If Contest Is Decided In The House
•
•
•
Reason 1: One vote per State; Large States
underweighted
Reason 2: State may lose vote if undecided
Reason 3: May not reach a majority due to 3rd
candidate
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2000 Nightmare
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“Doomsday” Scenarios (2008)
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“Doomsday” Scenarios
(2008)
“Doomsday” Scenarios
(2008)
• Democrat-controlled House picks Sen. Barack
Obama as president
• The Senate, with former Democrat Joe Lieberman voting
with Republicans, deadlocks at 50-50 \
• VP Dick Cheney steps in to break the tie to make
Republican Sarah Palin his successor
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• House, seated in January, is unable
to muster a majority to choose a
president after a 269-269 tie, but the
• Senate, which is expected to be
controlled by Democrats, picks Sen.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. from the
Democratic ticket.
• If the House is still deadlocked at
noon on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20,
Mr. Biden becomes acting president.
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“Doomsday” Scenarios
(2008)
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Political Punditry
• Or try this one on for size:
Neither the House nor the
Senate fulfills its
constitutional duty to
select the president and
the vice president by Jan.
20
• House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi, California
Democrat, becomes
acting president until the
whole mess is sorted out.
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• The future of the
Electoral College?
– Probably won’t be
dissolved.
– Candidates will
continue to campaign
heavily in “swing
states”
– Popular movement
every four years then
fades away.
– A serious
Constitutional crisis
would have to occur.
(2000 wasn’t enough)
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Evaluating Maps: Activity
10
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