Voting perhaps more important to the health of a

This preview shows 1 out of 3 pages.

Today, any citizen, over the age of eighteen, not in jail or on parole for a felony crime can exercise the right to vote.  Voting   Perhaps more important to the health of a democracy than who has the right to vote, is who actually exercises that  right by casting a ballot. Since 1860, voter turnout in the United States has shown a steady decline.  It is not completely clear why some people fail to register and why others, once registered, fail to vote. What is  apparent is that better educated, wealthier people tend to vote in greater numbers than their less educated, less  wealthy counterparts. Additionally, individuals with more ties to the community and individuals who are older are more  likely to turn out to vote. While there are trends toward more direct forms of democracy, they have not greatly  enlarged the number of people participating through voting. The initiative and referenda allow voters a more direct  say in law making at the state level. There are predictions that national level initiatives and referenda will be  implemented with the advent of sophisticated telecommunications and computer technology. Technology may  enhance our approach to democracy if it is used to expand conceptions of democratic participation. 
Image of page 1

Subscribe to view the full document.

Voting Choice   Once a voter does show up at the polls, why do they vote as they do? Psychological attachment to a political party is  the most important, but not the only determinant of vote choice. Candidate appeal, policies and issues, as well as the  cam-paign, are also influences on the decision to vote for one candidate over another.  Other Forms of Political Participation   Of course, voting is not the only way people can participate in politics. Citizens may choose to get involved in  campaigns or protests. Additionally, even the seeking out of political information is a form of participation that is of  great value in a democracy.  Congressional Elections and Presidential Elections   Chapter 10 goes on to describe how congressional and presidential elections are conducted and the factors that  influence their outcomes. With the exception of the Electoral College system for selecting the president, public  officials are selected from districts on the basis of plurality. The president is selected by the Electoral College –  composed of electors who, in turn, have been elected by the voters in their various states. While there have been  many proposals to abolish the electoral college and go to a direct popular vote, the system continues because no  alternative is free of other problems.  In order to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency, candidates must attempt to  maximize their votes. Because the large states have most of the Electoral College votes, candidates must spend 
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
You've reached the end of this preview.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern