Chapter 12- Elections and Voting

Terms in this set (47)

-Income and education
**higher % of ppl with income >65,000 vote than income <35,000 (wealthy vote more bc they feel their vote will make a difference more)
**education correlated w/ income- more advanced degree ppl most likely to vote bc they learn more about politics, aren't hindered by registration requirements, more self-confident about their ability to affect public life
-Race and Ethnicity
**Whites vote more than blacks/Hispanics/other minorities bc minorities are often poorer, less education
**more wealthy blacks more likely to vote than more wealthy whites
**The Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965- prohibited racial discrimination in voting by banning any voting device or procedure that interferes with a minority citizen's right to vote (literary tests etc) and prohibited any state or local govt from imposing any voting law that results in discrimination against racial or language minorities; bc of this turnout of blacks has increased dramatically (too many hindrances after Reconstruction)
-Gender
**19th Amendment in 1920- women got right to vote in US
**back then women voted at lower rate than men but today women vote at a slightly higher rate
**bc women make up over 50% of US, there are more women in electorate (aka Trump screwed)
-Age
**26th Amendment in 1971- lowered voting age to 18
**increased # of voters but young is least likely to vote
**much higher % of citizens of 30 vote than under
**young ppl are only 50% registered too prob bc they are more mobile- don't have roots in a community yet
-Civic Engagement
**members of civic organizations, trade/professional organizations/labor unions/attend church or religious services more likely to vote
**prob bc organizations emphasize community involvements
**union membership likely to increase voter turnout in ppl who, based on education, are less likely to vote
-Interest in Politics
**most politically active ppl are only 5% of country (party and interest group activists)
**10% of adult pop contributes time/$ to a party/candidate
**translates to millions of reliable voters
-Other Commitments
**17.5% registered nonvoters busy
**14.9% ill/disabled/fam emergency
-Difficulty of Registration
**major reason- lots of adults not registered to vote; requiring citizens to register is American thing other countries don't do that
**National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (Motor Voter Act)- nat'l attempt to ease the bureaucratic handles assoc with registering to vote; requires states to provide the opportunity to register through driver's license agencies, public assistance agencies, and the mail; increased voter registration 5-9%
**11 states offer OL registration
-Difficulty of Voting
**stringent ballot access laws such as providing identification (sometimes photo ID)- limits ballot access to women, racial/ethnic minorities, the elderly, the poor, the disabled
**Citizens out of state on election day/can't physically go to vote face challenges in casting an absentee ballot
-Number of Elections
**US holds 2x as many elections as other Western democracies bc of 2 year HOR terms
**also bc of federalism
-Voter Attitudes
**voters alienated/apathetic bc of lack of pressing issues/satisfaction with status quo/uncompetitve elections
**ppl turned off by petty issues and personal mudslinging
-Weakened Influence of Political Parties
**parties not as effective today in mobilizing voters
**candidate/issue centered campaigns and growth of expansive party bureaucracies today have resulted in more distant parties with fewer strong identifies
**modern grassroots efforts pale in comparison to past's parties creating strong party-group links with supporters
-Make election day a holiday
-Enable early voting
**currently 32 states allow this; several others do if you have a legit reason
**allows citizens to cast ballot up to a month b4 election either by mail or @ designated location
**critics say it takes away from the point of the campaign/those voters could change their mind after new info is revealed
-Permit mail and online voting
**increases voter turnout but means decreased ballot security, increased potential for fraud, may delay election results
**internet voting is more instantaneous but slow to catch on bc voters are wary of the security of this method (hackers/fraud) plus it may disenfranchise poor voters w/o internet access
-Make registration easier
**turnout higher in 11 states that allow Election Day registration- shows if registering was easier more ppl would vote
**a study of college kids shows that on campus registration drives increases turnout for young voters age 18-24
-Modernize the ballot
**Help America Vote Act (HAVA) following 2000 election aided states in upgrading voting equipment- more electronic now
**critics say machines can lead to fraud and machines could crash//say machines are too expensive//but all agree updating electronic equipment and ensuring fair elections should be priority
-Strengthen parties
**late 1800s-early 1900s= "Golden Age" of political parties- one of their primary activities was to get the vote out on election day
**even today get-out-the-vote drives increase voter turnout by several million ppl
**challenge: how to enact reforms that strengthen parties
**one way would be to allow parties to raise and spend greater sums of $ during elections- this raises ethical Qs tho about the influence/roles of money in politics
**another change= broader systematic reforms that allow for multiparty system//facilitate greater party competition- difficult to pass into law
**soln is to encourage parties to enhance get-out-the-vote efforts//additional voter education programs
;