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Chapter 6: Voters and Voter Behavior

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Debby Jennings

on 31 October 2013

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Transcript of Chapter 6: Voters and Voter Behavior

Chapter 6: Voters and Voter Behavior
Section 2: Voter Qualifications
Key Terms:

Person who lives in a state for a for time

Procedure of voter identification

remove from the list of legal voters.

Poll Books:
list of precinct's registered voters

ability to read and write

Poll Tax:
sum of money that had to be paid by the voter at the time he or she cast a ballot.

Section 3: Suffrage and Civil Rights
Key Terms:

- Gerrymandering:
the practice of drawing the lines of electoral districts in order to limit the voting strength of a particular group or party.

- Injunction:
Court order that either compels or restrains an act by an individual

- Preclearance:
approval given before an action is taken
Key Terms
the right to vote

the right to vote

potential voting population
1789: The Constitution
Who was allowed to vote at this time?

White, male, property owners
1850: Dropped religious and property qualifications
Who was allowed to vote at this time?

Almost all adult, white males
1870: 15th Amendment
Who was allowed to vote at this time?

All adult males, including African Americans (but this was not enforced).
1920: 19th Amendment
Who was allowed to vote at this time?

All adult men and women (African Americans were largely disenfranchised).

1960's: Civil Rights Movement
Who was allowed to vote at this time?

All adult men and women (including African Americans)
1971: 26th Amendment
Who was allowed to vote at this time?

All men and women over the age of 18
The Right to Vote
During the last 200 years, Americans have broadened the right
to vote
by eliminating barriers based on
. At the same time, the
Government has assumed a greater role in deciding who can vote and how elections should be run.
Common Questions on Voting Qualifications
1. According to the Constitution, can aliens vote?

2. Do any State governments today allow aliens to vote?

3. What are two reasons that States adopted residency requirements?
To prevent importing of enough people to fix the outcome of an election.
To ensure voters have time to inform themselves about candidates and issues.
4. What is the longest period of residence that any State today requires before permitting new residents to vote?
50 days

5. What is the minimum age a State can set for voters?
18 years old

6. What kinds of information are voters usually asked to give when they register to vote?
Name, age, place of birth, present address, length of residence.

7. a) Why do some people argue that voter registration out to be abolished?
Some say it is a bar to voter turnout among the poor and less educated.
b) Why do others believe registration is important?
Some argue that it is a necessary defense against fraud.
8. What were the 3 provisions of the Motor Voter Law?
It let eligible citizens register when they applied for or renewed a driver's license.
Provided for voter registration by mail
Made registration forms available at many government offices

9. Why were literacy tests abolished?
They were used to discriminate against people based on their race.

10. In what region of the country was the poll tax once used? Why was it abolished?
In the South. It was abolished because it was used to discourage African Americans from voting.

11. What groups of persons are widely barred from voting?
- People in mental hospitals
- Those who are legally found to be mentally
- Those convicted of a serious crime
15th Amendment
The 15th Amendment was ratified in
It states that no citizen can be denied suffrage on the basis of
, color, or previous condition of
. Although this amendment was intended to enfranchise
African American
men, in fact it was not enforced for almost 100 years.
Civil Rights Act of 1957
The Civil Rights Act of 1957 set up the
United States Civil Rights Commission
and gave the attorney general the right to seek federal
court orders
to prevent actions that interfered with the voting rights of qualified citizens.
The Civil Rights Act of 1960
The Civil Rights Act of 1960 provided for the appointment of federal
voting referees
. Their duty was to make sure that qualified citizens were allowed to
in federal elections.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade discriminatory
registration or literacy
requirements. It relied heavily on the use of the
system to overcome racial discrimination. Its shortcomings became clear when Martine Luther
King, Jr.
organized a voter registration drive in the city of
Selma, Alabama
. Efforts to register African American voters were met with violent opposition.
Section 4: Voter Behavior
Key Terms:

- Off-Year Election:
elections held in years between presidential elections

- Political efficacy:
the sense that one has an influence or effect on politics

- Political Socialization:
the process by which people gain their political attitudes and opinions.

-Gender Gap:
the measurable difference between the way women and men vote

- Party Identification:
the loyalty that people have to a political party

- Straight-Ticket Voting:
voting for candidates of only one party in an election.

- Split-ticket Voting:
voting for candidates of more than one party in an election

people who have not party affiliation of identification.
Common Questions on Voter Behavior
1. What type of elections have the highest turnout?
Presidential election years

2. What is "ballot fatigue"?
Voters loose their patience and/or knowledge as they work their way down a ballot.

3. What is the largest group of "cannot voters"?
Resident aliens

4. Why do some nonvoters deliberately choose not to vote?
They think their votes will not have an effect on government

5. What is "time-zone" fallout?
The news media predicts election winners when the polls in the East and Midwest close, resulting in lower voter turnout in the West where the polls are still open.

6. What is the chief reason that non-voters that most nonvoters do not vote?
Lack of interest

7. How do each of these factors affect the likelihood of whether people do or do not vote?
a. Level of income:
People with higher incomes are more likely to vote than people with lower incomes.
b. Occupation:
People with higher status occupations are more likely to vote
c. Education:
Better-educated people are more likely to vote
d. Age:
People under 35 are less likely to vote than older people
e. Gender:
Women are more likely to vote than men
f. Party Identification:
People with a strong party identification are more likely to vote than people with weak party identification.

Democrat Republican
Lower status/ Higher status/
Lower income Higher income

Less educated More educated

Women/ Younger Men/ Older

Catholics/ Jews Protestants

African Americans, Whites, Cuban
other non-whites, Mexican Latinos
Americans and Puerto Ricans

Many Southern states, Maine, Vermont,
Big Cities Kansas,
Nebraska, North
and South Dakota,

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