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Elections - T he Logic of Elections In a representative...

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The Logic of Elections In a representative democracy, how do you keep the needs of the people ahead of the desires and ambitions of representatives? Regular, free elections work to ameliorate this problem: o The prospect of future elections gives officeholders who want to keep or improve their jobs a motive to be responsive agents. The Right to Vote Most common form of political participation in the U.S.: o Voting The history of suffrage in the U.S. o Property qualifications Universal suffrage for white males Suffrage for women 19 th Amendment (1920) Suffrage Rights for Black Americans The 15 th Amendment (1870) State Restrictions: o White Primary [Nullified by Smith vs. Alright (1934)] o Literacy Tests (Outlawed 1965 Voting Rights Act) o Poll Taxes (Outlawed by 24 th Amendment) Suffrage for blacks was not universal until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Suffrage for Young Americans The 26 th Amendment (1971) o Gave 18-20 years old citizens the right to vote
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Who Uses the Right to Vote? Elections yield collective benefits o People enjoy the payoffs even if they have not helped to produce them by voting o A single vote doesn’t make a difference Voter Turnout in the U.S.
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