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Chapter 10: Election and Voting Behavior

By: Phung Vong

Important function of Election

They Institutional political activity, making it possible for most political participation to be channeled through the electoral process rather than bubbling up through demonstration, riots, or revolution. Election provide regular access to political power, so that leaders can be replaced without being overthrown.

Three kinds of election

Primary elections: Voters select party nominees. General Elections: contested between the nominees of the parties Elections: voters engage in making or ratifying legislation

ways American can directly affect legislation (state level)

Referendum: a state level method of direct legislation that gives voters a chance to approve or disapprove proposed legislation or a proposed constitutional amendment Initiative petition: A process permitted in some states whereby voters may put proposed changes in the state constitution to a vote f sufficient signature are obtained on petitons calling for such a referendum

Whether to vote: A citizens first choice

the legal right to vote A. Extended to African American (fifteenth amendment) B. Extended to women ( nineteenth amendment) C. Extended to people over 18 ( twenty- sixth amendment)

rational people vote if they believe that the policies of one party will bring more benefits than the policies of the other party.
-Downs explanation of why people vote

Factors that determines who votes

People with a higher education vote more regularly Older people vote more regularly than younger people African American and Hispanics vote less regularly Women vote slightly more regularly than men Married people are more likely to vote than nonmarried Government employees vote more regularly

Three major element of voters decision

Party identification: are crucial for many voters because they provide a regular perspective through which voter can view the political world Candidate evaluation: how americans see the candidates Policy voting: when people base their choices in an election on their own issues preferences

Technology and voters

With the emergence of television and candidates centered politics, the parties hold on voters eroded substantially during 1960s and 1970s, and then stabilized at a new and lower level. Many voters now feel that they no longer need the parties to guide their choices, given that modern technology makes it possible for them to evaluate and make their own decision about the candidates Political psychologists Shawn Rosenberg & Patrick Mc cafferty showed that its possible to manipulate a candidate's appearance in a way that affects voters choices.

Dimension of a candidates image

Holding a candidates of policy views and party identification constant They found that when good pictures are substituted for bad ones Candidates vote-getting ability is significantly increased

Electoral college
A unique American institution created by the constitution, providing for the selection of the president by electors chosen by the states parties

How Electoral college work

Each states has as many electoral voters a sit has U.S senators and representatives. The states parties selected states of electors, position they use as a reward for faithful services to the party. A. Each state has a winner-take all system B. Electors meet in their states in December then mail their votes to the vice president. C. If no candidate receives an electoral college majority, then the elections is throw into the house of representatives which must choose from among the top three electoral vote winners

Why electoral college is important

It introduces a bias into the campaigns and electoral process Candidates will necessarily focus on winning the states where the polls show that there appears to be a close contest.

What election accomplish and how it affect public policy

They select the policy maker Help shape public policy There no definitive answer to how election much election affect public policy the greater the policy differences between the candidates, the more likely voters will be able to steer government policies by their choices.

Performance of the economy is affect by election

In the perception of economic policy impact. Once on office, politician use fiscal policy to keep American economy running on an even heel. Help to increase generalized support for government and its power

Words to know
Political efficacy: the belief that ones political participation really matters ( one vote can make a different.) Voter registration: a system adopted by the states that requires voters to register well in advanced of election day. Motor voter act: it requires states to permit people to register to vote at the same time they apply for their divers license