10chapter5 - 5 Voters • Why Vote? – From the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–6. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 5 Voters • Why Vote? – From the perspective of the individual , voting may not seem logical, but many people vote nonetheless because they have been taught that it is their duty to do so. – Candidates must remember that each individual voter has his or her own motivations, ideology, and hopes for the future. – From the perspective of the political system, voting is crucial because it legitimizes the government, decreases alienation and opposition, influences public policy, and, when done on a large scale, insures against dishonesty in elections. – Although one vote almost never matters, democracy depends upon each citizen acting as if it does. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Voters • Suffrage – The expansion of the right to vote has been one of the most important historical developments in American politics. • The U.S. Constitution originally delegated to the states the power to determine voter eligibility in all elections and restrictions on suffrage were widespread. • Because states generally restricted the suffrage to adult white male property owners who professed a certain religious belief, only about five percent of the almost four million people counted in the first national census in 1790 were eligible to vote. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Voters • Since the beginning of the 19th century, restrictions on voting have been gradually removed. – Church membership and property ownership were removed as qualifications for voting in the 1820s and 1830s. – The Civil War Amendments were enacted to guarantee full political rights to freed slaves, but the Southern states reacted with legal (and illegal) restrictions that were not lifted until Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965. – The Nineteenth Amendment enfranchised women in 1920 and the Twenty-Sixth Amendment (1971) lowered the minimum voting age to 18. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Voters • Several things stand out in the history of the evolution of voting. – In the U.S., voting rights have been substantially nationalized as states, when enacting voting laws, must now stay within guidelines established by the U.S. Constitution, Congress, and the Supreme Court. – Southern states, including Texas, attempted to evade and obstruct the post-Civil War amendments and, later, the Voting Rights Act, resulting in lower voting turnouts in the South than in the North. – The federal government gradually defeated these antidemocratic schemes so that by the mid 1970s all adult Americans had the legal right to vote. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 5 Voters • Registration – The Purposes of Voter Registration • Every political system has a system of registration to distinguish those who are qualified to vote from those who are not....
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 01/27/2011 for the course POLS 207 taught by Professor Peterson during the Spring '07 term at Texas A&M.

Page1 / 47

10chapter5 - 5 Voters • Why Vote? – From the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 6. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online