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right to vote aka franchise


the potential voting population


persons living in a the state for only a short time


a procedure of voter identification intended to prevent fraudulent voting; gives election officials a list of those persons who are qualified to vote in an election; to identify voters in terms of their party preference and their eligibility to take part in closed primaries


when local election officials review the lists of registered voters and remove the names of those who are no longer eligible to vote. usually done every two or four years.

poll books

the official lists of qualified voters in each precinct; prevent fraud so someone doesn't keep voting a million times


a person's ability to read or write; still important now because of the more difficult jobs and expansion of words and literary stuff

poll tax

a condition for voting when States demanded the payment of a special tax; way to make sure wealthier people could vote and not the poor


the practice of drawing electoral district lines in order to limit the voting strength of a particular group or party; the boundaries of the geographic area from which a candidate is elected to a public office; makes it harder to favor one party


a court order that either compels (forces) or restrains (limits) the performance of some act by a private individual or by a public official;
courts =police


mandated by the voting rights act of 1965, the prior approval by the justice department of changes to or new election laws by certain states

off-year elections

the congressional elections held in the even-numbered years between presidential elections

political efficacy

The belief that one's political participation really matters - that one's vote can actually make a difference

political socialization

the process by which people gain their political attitudes and opinions

gender gap

first appeared in the 1980s; measurable differences between the partisan choices of men and women today

party identification

the loyalty of people to a particular political party

straight-ticket voting

the practice of voting for candidates of only one party in an election

split-ticket voting

the practice of voting for the candidates of more than one party in an election


people who have no party affiliation

restrictions on state's power to set suffrage requirements

15th amendment, 19th amendment, 26th amendment

Dunn vs Blumstein

TN's 90 days is too long; changed to 30 day residency maximum

Motor Voter Law

when you get or renew license you can register to vote; easier for citizens to register

Civil Rights Act of 1960

federal voting references could help people register and vote in federal elections

Civil Rights Act of 1964

forbids use of voter registration or literacy requirements in unfair or discriminatory ways & courts could issue injunctions

Voting Rights Act of 1965

15th amendment applied to all elections, no literacy tests and no poll taxes, voter examiners to insect and aid, and states can not impose new election laws without preclearance

australian ballot

secret ballot; don't have to publicize who you vote for

voter qualifications

U.S. citizenship, in state residence, age (18), and registration

two long term trends of suffrage

elimination of voting restrictions and allowing more people to vote

Civil Rights Act 1957

set up Civil Rights Commission and attorney general can seek court orders to stop interference into any person's right to vote

people do not register, do not like candidates, long lines, bad weather, long ballots, vote does not matter, people are happy with status quo

reasons why Americans don't vote

grandfather clause

designed to enfranchise those white males who were unintentionally disqualified by their failure to meet the literacy or tax paying requirements. Discriminated against African Americans by allowing white men to skip the tax and literacy test if their male descendants had been able to vote before the 15th amendment

Civic Duty

the belief that in order to support democratic government, a citizen should always vote

good education, older age, white, female, married, union member, or combination

factors of who would most likely vote

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