Chapter 5 - Campaigns and Elections.pdf - Chapter 5...

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    Chapter 5Campaigns and Elections
2Elections in TexasIn 2015, two cities in Texas elected new mayors. Sylvester Turner, a longtime state representative, became Houston’s second elected African American mayor. In San Antonio, Ivy Taylor, pictured here, became the city’s first African American mayor.
3Why Elections MatterMayors in these large cities have important national stature and sometimes assume national officeA mayor has the power to set the local political agenda, veto municipal legislation, and influence the city’s public policy
4Features of Elections in TexasTexans select candidates in all three statewide branches of government and in numerous local electionsTexans also vote for changes to the state constitutionOne-party dominance and low levels of voter participation often leave the government exposed to special interests and big money
5Features of Elections in Texas: Primary ElectionsPrimary electionsBoth the Democratic and Republican parties conduct primary elections, which determine a party’s nominees for the general electionIf no candidate receives an absolute majority, there is a runoff primaryAn open primaryallows voting in either, but not both, primariesIn a closed primary, one must declare one’s party affiliation
6Features of Elections in Texas: General ElectionsGeneral electionsIn general elections, held in November, voters cast ballots to select public officialsMajor state officials are elected in nonpresidential election yearsLocal elections often take place outside the early November time period and have low voter turnout
7Features of Elections in Texas: Special Elections and IndependentsSpecial electionsA special electionis one not held on a regularly scheduled basisRunning as an independentIt is unusual to run for office in Texas as an independentTough to get on the ballotLack of party support
8Features of Elections in Texas: Campaign SignsSome blame the relatively low voter turnout for Texas elections on the frequency of elections and the large number of candidates. Also, state officials are not elected in presidential election years, when voter participation tends to be highest.
9Participation in Texas Elections Voting is the most common and basic form of political participation Other forms of political participation include Signing petitionsProtestingWriting letters to the newspaper and elected officials
10Participation in Texas Elections: Restrictions Earlier restrictions on the franchiseFranchise

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