Constitution Lesson 2 Administration of Elections - Elections El ti mustt be b free, f honest, h t & accurate. t - Laws are in place to protect integrity of the election. A. Federal Control i in i the h U.S. 1. 500,000 offices 2. State law dictates most of the rules. 3. Some Federal Laws are spelled out in the const. - time, place, etc. – for national elections - 1st Tues. after 1st Mon. in Nov. – Congress & Pres. - use of secret ballots Æ allowed voting machines - prohibits hibit corruptt practices ti - ensures equality - all other rules are left up to the states. B When B. Wh Elections El ti Are A Held H ld 1. Most states hold elections the same day as the nat. election. 2. Local elections are often in the spring. C C C. Coattail tt il Eff Effectt 1. coattail effect – strong candidate at the top of the ballot encourages voters to vote for other members of the party. ex. Ronald Regan helped many Rep. win – Senators, Govs, etc. 2. Can have a reverse effect – if not well liked! 2 3. Critics feel like state & local elections should be on a different day. - avoid the coattail effect. Precincts & Polling Places - precinct - voting district A. Precinct 1. Smallest geographic unit for conducting elections - 500 – 1000 voters voters. 2. polling place – where voters actually vote within precinct. 3. County Clerk draws precinct lines, polling places, etc. - polls open at 7 – 8 AM and close at 7 – 8 PM PM. 4. Make sure that only qualified voters vote. 5. Poll Watchers – from each party – watch primaries for fraud. Ballot B ll t - ballot – device by which a voter registers a choice in an election. - must be secret. 1. Colonial Times – by voice – “manly” way to vote. - lots of “vote vote buying. buying.” – buy drinks before vote, etc. - intimidation – corrupt. 2. Mid 1800’s – paper ballots – keep it secret. A. Australian Ballot 1. Printed @ public expense. 2. List names of all the candidates. 3. Given out only @ the polls. – 1/voter 4. Vote in secret. - very y ppopular p Æ early y 1900’s. B. Office – Group Ballot 1. Candidates for each office are grouped together. C Party – Column Ballot C. 1. Lists each party’s cand. in column under the party’s name. - can vote entire ballot for a party. - encourages g strait ticket voting. g - party wants strongest candidate @ the top. D. Sample Ballots 1 Available in most states 1. states, newspapers newspapers, etc. etc - helps prepare people for the election. E. Long & Short of It 1. Typically i ll ballots b ll are very long. l 2. People can’t vote intelligently for every office. - local positions are often difficult. 3 ballot fatigue – quit voting at the bottom of the ballot. 3. ballot Voting Machines A. Thomas Edison invented the first one in 1892. 1. Usually used in urban areas. 2. Today about ½ of voters use a machine. precinct. 3. Increases the # of voters in a p B. Electronic Vote Counting - punch card ballots – counted by a machine. C. Vote-By-Mail y 1. Usually only for local elections. 2. Critics say it increases voter fraud. 3. Increases voter turnout. 4. Reduces the cost of conducting elections.