21ElecCamp_bw_ - American Government Lecture 21...

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American Government Lecture 21 - Participation and Elections
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Why Low Turnout in the US? 1. Two Party System Fails to address the needs of all voters Always leaves some people’s issues open 2. Mobilization of voters Parties mobilize supporters Uncertain voters are not mobilized 3. Disenfranchising of the electorate Increasing number of felons since 1960’s Increasing number of non-citizens 4. Enfranchising of 18-21 year olds They don’t vote 5. Voluntary Voting Lack of requirement or encouragement to vote National Holiday
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To vote in NJ Must register 21 days in advance At County/Town Clerk’s office At any State facility DMV Many places on campus Must arrive at correct poll Depends on where you live Poll location mailed to you Can request an absentee ballot At poll Must have a form of identification Drivers license/Utility bill/Bank statement If not, can vote provisionally
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Who Participates? Participation is not costless Most forms require an investment of time Some require money All require knowledge of how to do so Participation requires resources Time Money Civic Skills
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Resource Model Time Participation requires free time Not everybody has this Parents Full time workers Lack of time limits ability to participate Money Some forms of participation require money Donating to campaigns/Attending fundraisers Only those with money have access Impacts certain areas of politics Campaign agendas/Policy formation
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Resource Model Civic Skills In order to participate, must know how Education Church Involvement Understanding of Government Partially a matter of choice Partially of context Resources influence type of participation Time = awareness, discussions, contact. Money = donating to campaigns,,litigation Skills = lobbying, contact, protests
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Decline in Participation “Bowling Alone”, Robert Putnam Social capital in America is decreasing People no longer interact Since the 1950’s, people stay home more TV is killing socialization True? People may just be interacting differently Rather than bowling, World of Warcraft People may also be losing political efficacy View government as totally unresponsive People may simply be happier with government No reason to participate
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Voting and Elections Major considerations
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2011 for the course POLI SCI 790:106 taught by Professor Andersen during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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21ElecCamp_bw_ - American Government Lecture 21...

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