Govt Ch 10

  1. 2 Critical Functions of Elections
    • 1. institutionalize political activity
    • 2. provide regular access to political power
  2. Legitimacy
    elections are almost universally accepted as a fair and free method of selecting political leaders
  3. 3 Types of Elections
    • 1. primary elections
    • 2. general elections
    • 3. elections on specific policy questions
  4. What are 2 methods of getting items on a state ballot?
    • 1. referendum
    • 2. initiative petition
  5. Referendum
    voters are given the chance to approve or disapprove some legislative act, bond issue, or constitutional amendment
  6. Initiative Petition
    requires gaining signatures on a proposed law equal to 10% of the # of votes in the previous election
  7. Suffrage
    the legal right to vote
  8. What 5 amendments have expanded suffrage?
    • 15th: extended to African Americans
    • 19th: extended to women
    • 23rd: extended to DC citizens
    • 24th: elimination of poll tax
    • 26th: voting age = 18
  9. Three Reasons People Vote
    • 1. Downs' model of democracy: people vote if they believe that the policies of one party will bring more benefits than the policies of the other party
    • 2. political efficacy
    • 3. civic duty
  10. Political Efficacy
    belief that ordinary people can influence govt
  11. Civic Duty
    doing something because it is a long term contribution made toward preserving democracy
  12. Voter Registration
    system adopted by states that requires voters to register in advance of election day; often discourages people from voting at all
  13. Motor Voter Act
    requires states to permit people to register to vote at the same time they apply for their driver's license
  14. Who is most likely to vote in the following categories? Education, age, race, gender, marital status, mobility, and union membership.
    • Education: more educated
    • Age: older
    • Race: nonminority
    • Gender: women
    • Marital status: married
    • Mobility: living at the same address
    • Union Membership: union member
  15. Mandate Theory of Elections
    the idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his/her platforms and politics
  16. 3 Elements of Major Decisions
    • 1. voters' party identification
    • 2. voters' evaluation of the candidates
    • 3. the match between voters' policy positions and those of the candidates and parties
  17. Policy Voting
    occurs when people base their choices in an election on their own issue preferences
  18. 4 Conditions for Policy Voting
    • 1. voters must have a clear view of their own policy positions
    • 2. voters must know where the candidates stand on policy issues
    • 3. they must see differences in the candidates on these issues
    • 4. must cast a vote for the candidate whose policy position coincides with their own
  19. 3 Main Factors Affecting Voter Decisions
    • 1. party voting
    • 2. candidate evaluations
    • 3. policy voting
  20. Electoral College
    provides for the selection of the president by electors chosen by the state parties
  21. How does the electoral college system work?
    electors in each state are chosen --> electors vote as a bloc for the winner in their state --> electors mail votes to VP who announces winner in Jan --> if there is a tie the top three winning candidates are debated in the House
  22. 2 Important Reasons for Electoral Colleges
    • 1. introduces bias into the campaign and electoral process
    • 2. gives extra "clout" to big states
  23. Elections accomplish what 2 tasks?
    • 1. select policymakers
    • 2. shape public policy
  24. Retrospective Voting
    theory of voting in which voters ask of a candidate: "What have you done for me lately?"
Card Set
Govt Ch 10
Political Beliefs/Behaviors; Parties & Interest Groups