Chapter Eleven: Voting, Compaigns, and Elections Study Chapter Summary Elections are exercises in which candidates try to assemble supporting coalitions of voters while voters try to figure out which candidates best represent their interests and values. In a republican government such as ours, voters delegate authority to a small number of representatives. Elections serve as an important, but imperfect, mechanism to prevent these representatives from taking advantage of citizens. In early American history, the number of citizens allowed to vote was small, but the right to vote was gradually extended to those without property, to women, and to blacks. Despite the central role of voting in our republican form of government, millions of Americans choose not to vote at all. The decision to vote isn't illogical. Those who do decide to vote must gather enough information to make their choices and must invest the time to actually cast a vote. Thus nonvoters are often free riding on the efforts of other voters while still deriving many of the benefits from elections. However, some
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