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LWV-JL Full Presentation


Katherine Mertens

on 11 February 2016

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Transcript of LWV-JL Full Presentation

How to be an
Informed Voter
Primaries are state-level elections in which residents choose candidates from specific political parties who will then run against each other in a national election. There are 2 types of primaries: closed primaries and open primaries. Participation in closed primaries is restricted to voters who are registered to a certain political party. Voting in open primaries is open to any registered voter, regardless of party affiliation.
Party Conventions
Each of the 2 main political parties, the republicans and the democrats, hold conventions in which they name their party's nominee for president of the United States. While these started as an event in which the nominee really was chosen, the system has evolved to include primaries and caucuses giving the citizens more of a say in the process. By the time the convention is held, the nominee has usually been known for months. The conventions provide an opportunity for members of the party to vote on the party's platform.
Electoral College
Tuesday, March 8
Tuesday, March 1
Popular Election?
Contrary to popular belief, when you cast your vote for president on November 8, 2016, you are not participating in a popular election. Your vote determines how members of the Electoral College in your state vote. In most states, the winner of the popular votes gets all of the states electors. However, Maine and Nevada let each congressional district pick its own candidate.
Presidential Elections
Caucuses are regional meetings in which members of a political party gather to vote on the candidate of their choice and to conduct party business. Caucuses are the oldest method of choosing delegates in the U.S., widely believed to have originated in the English colonies before the American Revolution.
Open Primary
Open Primary
Depending on the state, members of the electoral college are chosen through a vote in the state primaries or at the party convention. Members are typically loyal party members who can be depended upon to vote in line with their party. If there is no clear majority decided by the electoral college (currently 270 votes are needed), the House of Representatives meets immediately to vote on the new president.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Illinois has a semi-closed primary. You can only vote for candidates who are members of the party under which you are registered. However, you are able to change your party affiliation on you ballot the day of the primary. In order to be registered to vote before the primary, you must have completed your registration by Tuesday February 16. Illinois also offers a same-day registration program at polling places on March 15. Those who are currently 17 year old but will turn 18 by November 8, 2016 may vote in the primaries.
Why are Iowa and New Hampshire so important during presidential elections?
Iowa is home to the first democratic and republican caucuses of the season, (February 1, 2016 for this election.) New Hampshire, as mandated by a state law, is the first state to hold a primary during each presidential election (February 9, 2016.)
Informed Voter
What Does it Mean to be an
Being an informed voter means using the resources available to gain the knowledge that you need to vote for the candidates and policies that best represent your interests. This often involved being knowledgeable about the candidate's platform and voting record.
Thank You
Political Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. Therefore, political rhetoric refers to the carefully crafted strategies developed and implemented by candidates as they are campaigning
& How It Is Used
When used most effectively, political rhetoric focuses on the flaws of opponents, highlights the strengths of the candidate, and deflects attention from their weaknesses. Speeches given by candidates on a national scale are often written by professional speech writers. Content of these speeches are carefully crafted to appeal to the audience that it will be given to.
Buzzwords are terms that are trendy for a period of time. They are commonly used in American politics in order to appeal emotionally to voters. Words such as freedom, justice, and liberty are commonly used buzzwords that evoke strong, patriotic feelings from American audiences.

Campaign Ads
Bio Ads
are positive ads that highlight the strengths of the candidate. They typically focus on prior accomplishments of the candidate that qualify them for the position for which they are running.
focus on the negative traits of opponents and often take a dark tone.
are created to refute claims made by opponents and to reach voters who may have been influenced by attack ads.
Attack Ads
Response Ads
Issue Framing
Framing an issue is when candidates or elected politicians present ideas in a way that appeal emotionally to voters. Much research is put into the words and phrases that are used to present ideas to ensure that they appeal to the most people possible. Framing an issue can be seen in various political initiatives such as “No Child Left Behind.” This issue is effectively framed because almost everyone agrees that no child should eb left behind.
Big Money In Politics
What is a PAC?
PAC stands for Political Action Committee. PACs are extremely easy to set up, and are often used by politicians to negotiate favors. According to the Federal Election Commission, or FEC, PACS can:
1) Receive donations only from individuals
2) Receive an annual maximum of $5,000 per individual
3) Donate $5,000 per candidate per election cycle
4) Donate $15,000 annually to a political party
Big Money In Politics
What are Super PACs?
Individuals can donate directly to candidates and parties, but this is also regulated ($30,800 to parties per year and $2,500 to candidates per election cycle
Super PACs were created following the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in the case Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission. Now, Super PACS have the ability to:
1) Accept donations from individuals, corporations, and unions
2) Accept donations of any amount
Super PACs, like PACs cannot coordinate directly with the campaign staff of individual candidates. They are also banned from contributing directly to candidates. They can, however, fund independent media campaigns supporting candidates.
Take Away Messages
Know Your Source
Media is often biased. When researching candidates, use scholarly articles or unbiased media sources
Be an Active Researcher
When candidates are using political rhetoric to persuade their audience, it’s important to read between the lines to understand what they are really saying. When listening to or reading the messages, see if the politicians address the issues/questions raised, or if they use political rhetoric strategies to avoid giving a direct answer.
Get Involved With Local Politics
While politics on a national scale receive more media attention, local politics have more of an impact on our daily lives.
Stay Informed on the Go
Full transcript