What are the universal requirements for voting in the United States?
-Citizenship: Must be a citizen of the U.S.
-Residence: Live in the state for certain amount of time
-Age: Must be at least 18 years of age
What other requirements have States used or still use as voter qualifications?
-Registration, in which you must register your name, address, age, etc. In order to vote
-Literacy, in which you had to know how to read and write in order to vote. (used specifially to keep AA's from voting)
-Property, had to own property in order to vote (most AA's didn't have this)
5 stages of growth in American electorate
1. Struggle extending voting rights
2. 15th amendment
3. 19th amendment
4. Voting right of 65' (minority vote) 23rd amendment (presidental electors vote) 24th amendment (poll tax)
5. Adoption of 26th amendment (18 to vote)
Who exercises the franchise?
What restrictions does the constitution place on setting suffrage qualifications?
1. If voting for numerous branch, also allowed to vote congress
2. Can't discriminate: 15 amendment
3. Can't discriminate because of sex
4. Can't force anyone to pay taxes to vote
5. If person is 18, can't discriminate because of age (26th amendment)
What is the Motor Voter Law?
Required states to ease the registration laws, (except N Dakota) make it available to more people, registration is available through the mail, when they apply for a drivers liscence, at welfare offices and other agencies
- What rights are guaranteed by the 15th Amendment, and what tactics were used in the past to circumvent those rights?
You have the right to vote and can't be discriminated against because of previous servitude, color, or race
Drawing electorate district lines to limit strength of group or party
Describe two long-term trends that have characterized the history of suffrage?
1. Gradual elimination of several restrictions on right to vote (religion, sex, tax payment)
2. What was originally states power was given to Federal Government
Potential voting population
Why do states require voting registration?
To prevent fraudulent voting
Why do they keep poll books and why is it a good idea to purge them?
To keep a list of names who are qualified to vote, and it is a good idea to purge them because it gets clogged with people who are not eligible to vote
How was the poll tax used as a voting qualification?
Property ownership was the link to the poll tax, which proved you paid taxes if you owned property. Only certain people could pay it, and it was a method of keeping AA's from voting because many of them didn't own property
What is gerrymandering and what other devices were used to prevent AA's from voting?
Drawing electorate district lines (boundaries of geographic were is elected) to limit voting strength of that particular party. They used literacy tests, which most AA's couldn't pass, and registration, which can be difficult to obtain. Poll taxes,
Civil Rights Act of 1957
1. Created US Civil Rights Commission
2. Investigated and reported voter discrimination
3. Attorney general can get court orders to prevent voter interference
Civil Rights Act of 1960
Voting referees serve where voter discrimnation is found
Civil Rights Act of 64
1.Abolished literacy use or voting registration in an unfair manner
2. Relied on judicial action using injuctions: Court order that compels or restrains an act by an individual
Civil Rights Act of 65
1. Made 15th amendment part of Constitution
2. Led to abolishment of poll tax
3. Mandated preclearance
4. Later amendments added language-minority
Reasons why people don't vote
1. Some people just can't, (religious, traveling, ill, disabled,
2. Still voting biases
3. Voters just think the elections don't make a difference (Some approve of the way things are, others just think it doesn't make a difference
4. Some don't trust the voting process (think its meaningless)
5. Getting to voting polls: registration, long lines, and bad weather
Lack feeling, influence or effectiveness on politics
How does political efficacy affect voter behavior?
You feel that you don't have any real impact on politics, so you don't bother to vote
Process by which people gain attidudes and opinions about politics
What is the Gender Gap?
Differences between partisan choices of men and women
How are Party Identification and Straight-Ticket voting related?
A person who is loyal to one party will most likely vote for all their candidates (straight-ticket voting)
Three sociological factors that affect voting behavior
1. Income and Occupation
What sides are Democratic usually on?
North and East