62 terms

Texas Politics Today - chapter 4


Terms in this set (...)

participation paradox
fact that citizens vote even though a single vote rarely decides an election
voter turnout
the proportion of eligible Americans who actually vote
voting-age population (VAP)
the total number of persons in the United States who are 18 years of age or older
direct primary
a method of selecting party nominees in which party members participate directly in the selection of a candidate to represent them in the general election
runoff primary
a second primary election that puts the two top vote getters from the first primary where the winner in that primary did not receive a majority, the runoff primary is used in states such as Texas that have a majority election rule in party primaries
open primary
a type of party primary where a voter can choose on election day in which primary they will participate
closed primary
a type of primary where a voter is required to specify a party preference when registering to vote
crossover voting
when members of one political party vote in the other party's primary to influence the nominee that is selected
plurality vote
an election rule in which the candidate with the most votes wins regardless of whether it is a majority
party-column ballot
a type of ballot used in a general election where all of the candidates from each party are listed in parallel columns under the party ticket
split-ticket voting
a voter selecting candidates from one party for some offices and candidates from the other party for other offices
straight-ticket voting
selecting all of the candidates from one particular party
office-block ballot
a type of ballot used in a general election where the names of the parties candidates are randomly listed under each office
Australian ballot
a ballot printed by the government (as opposed to the political parties) that allows people to vote in secret
early voting
the practice of voting before election day at traditional voting locations, such as schools, and other locations, such as grocery and convenience stores
the small pieces of paper produced when voting with punch card ballots
electronic voting
voting by using touch screens
negative campaigning
a strategy used in election campaigns in which candidates attack opponents' issue positions or character
political action committees (PACs)
organizations that raise and then contribute money to political candidates
soft money
money spent by political parties on behalf of political candidates, especially for the purposes of increasing voter registration and turnout
independent expenditures
money individuals and organizations spend to promote a candidate without working or communicating directly with the candidates campaign organizaton
defining characteristic of representative democracies
* elections
demographic variables that affect turnout at the polls
* education
* income
* age
when are new voter registration cards mailed?
by January 1 of even numbered years
how many days before an election does an individual have to be registered to vote?
30 days
legal qualifications for voting in Texas
* citizen of the United States
* at least 18 years of age
* a resident of the state
individuals excluded from voting
* declared "mentally incompetent"
* currently serving a sentence, on parole, or probation for a felony conviction
lists used to purge voter rolls
* names on returned certificates - strike list
* coroner's reports
* lists of felony convictions
* adjudications of mental incompetence
requirements that mandate when all ballots and election material be printed in other languages in addition to English
* English and Spanish in over 100 counties in TX
* due to Voting rights act of 1965 and subsequent amendment in 1992
* Section 203: a political subdivision must provide language assistance to voters if significant numbers of voting age citizens are members of a single-lanaguage minority group and do not speak or understand English well
* 5% of voting age citizens or 10,000 people
* Harris county must also provide ballots in Vietnamese
arguments against voter ID law
* expected to dampen turnout, especially for minorities (hurts Democrats)
* minorities & elderly may not have any of the forms of ID required
factors causing decrease in voting participation after 1960
* 26th amendment - reduced voting age from 21 to 18
- passed at height of Vietnam war
- expanded eligible voting population
- young people are less likely to vote
* identification with the 2 major parties dropped
American turnout vs other industrialized democracies of the world
significantly lower than the rest of the world
United States v. Texas
1966 - all poll taxes unconstitutional (including state elections)
Smith v. Allwright
1944 - African Americans could not be excluded from primaries (white primary)
Carrington v. Rash
1965 - Supreme Court voided Texas constitutional exclusion for military members
what were literacy tests designed to do?
often used to exclude African Americans and poor whites from voting
Beare v. Smith
1971 - voided early registration restriction - prior needed to register by Jan 31
factors that help deter higher voter turnout in Texas
* demographic factors - large number of poor who are less likely to vote
* political structure - length of the ballot is long, frequent elections for many reasons
* party competition - the closer the race, the greater the interest
* political culture - mix of moralistic, traditionalistic, and individualisitic
which Texas area is the traditionalistic political culture most prevalent?
East Texas
describe direct primary
party members participate directly in the selection of a candidate to represent them in the general election
describe the Terrell Election Law
1903 - a statewide direct-primary system for all state, district, and county elective offices was established
what prompts a runoff primary?
* no candidate receives that majority vote
* runoff conducted with 2 top vote getters
closed primary vs. open primary
* closed primary only allows those who are registered & affiliated with that party to vote
* open primary allows members of any party to vote in whichever primary they choose but they can only vote in one
describe crossover voting
a person affiliated with the opposing party votes in an open primary for the opposition in order to influence the candidate selection (the eventual opponent)
which elections are nonpartisan in Texas?
special elections designed to meet special or emergency needs (constitutional amendments, filling vacant offices)
elections requiring majority vote in TX
primary elections
runoff primary
special elecitons
elections requiring plurality of the votes in TX
general elections
when are general elections held in TX?
the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even-numbered years
who is the chief election officer in the state? name & web address
* Secretary of State
* Carlos H. Cascos
* sos.state.tx.us
party-column vs. office block ballot
* party column - candidates listed by party in columns
* office-block - candidates are randomly listed under each office
which ballot would a minor party candidate prefer & why?
* office-block ballot
* makes straight-ticket voting more difficult
3rd party access to getting on the ballot
* must be party nominee or an independent
* must have received at least 5% of the vote in the las general election
* petition with signatures from 1% of total state vote in last presidential election
how does someone get their name placed on the general election ballot?
* 1% of total voters must sign petition to place on ballot
* very difficult to do
what language was Harris county required by US Justice Dept to place on ballots & voting material by 2002?
why did a number of TX counties start using electronic voting in the 2002 midterm election?
in response to the events in Florida (Bush v Gore recounts)
what is allowed with recounts by TX law?
* can request a recount if candidate loses by less than 10%
* requesting candidate must pay for the recount
* only one method of recount may be used (manual recount preferred over electronic)
2 factors that predominate in state elections
1) party identification
2) incumbency
describe political action committees
organizations that raise money and then contribute money to political candidates
soft money vs. hard money
* soft money - funds spent by a political party on behalf of a political candidate
* hard money - tightly regulated contributions to candidates
responsibility of the Texas Ethics Commission
enforcement of campaign regulations
where do candidates spend most of their "on the stump" time?
urban and suburban areas where they can get the attention of a large audience through the local media
how many of the 13.6 million registered voters voted in the Republican primary?
2014 - 2 million