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Voter Turnout - PowerPoint by DphAZ1

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									            Voter Turnout
POLS 125: Political Parties & Elections
    “A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for
    democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a
    national election.”
                                           — Bill Vaughan
           The Vanishing Voter
Patterson calls declining voter turnout “the longest
sustained downturn in American history.” What
factors have caused it?

  Generational replacement
  Lack of competitive elections
  Weakening party loyalty
  Unsavory campaigns
  Negative news
This is all the more disturbing because
turnout should have increased…

 Increasing educational attainment
 Removal of poll taxes and literacy tests
 Simplified registration procedures
         Voter Turnout in 2008

In November 2008, 131 million votes were cast for
president.

Is that number high or low?
It depends on how
turnout is measured…
 How Should We Measure Turnout?
Turnout statistics can use any of three denominators:
  The voting-age population (VAP) includes non-citizens
  and felons who are ineligible to vote, and excludes
  expatriate citizens who could legally vote overseas. VAP
  estimates provide the lowest turnout levels because they
  underestimate actual turnout.
  The voting-eligible population (VEP) starts with the
  voting-age population, then subtracts disenfranchised
  felons and non-citizens, and adds citizens from
  overseas. VEP estimates of voting turnout are higher
  than VAP estimates.
  The number of registered voters includes only those
  legally registered to vote. This provides the highest rate
  of voter turnout.
 How Should We Measure Turnout?

           131 million votes cast
VAP                                       = 57% voter turnout
       231 million voting age citizens



           131 million votes cast
VEP                                       = 62% voter turnout
      213 million voting eligible citizens



           131 million votes cast
REG                                       = 76% voter turnout
        172 million registered voters
                                         Fraud?
     If voter turnout is low,
       compared to what?

Compared to other countries
Compared to historic rates of voter
turnout in the United States
 Voter Turnout in the United States
   Compared to Other Countries
   Perc ent of v oting age population (VAP), all elec tions s inc e 1945
   100

    90

    80

    70

    60

    50
    40

    30

    20

    10

      0




                                                                                                                                                                                                              Luxembourg
                     Iceland




                                                                                                                                                                                    United Kingdom
                                                                                                                                                        Finland
                                                                                                               G ermany




                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Switzerland
                                                                                                                                                                          Ireland
                                                                                                                                      Israel
                                                                                                                          * G reece
                                                                   * Australia
                                                     Netherlands
                               Austria




                                                                                                                                                                                                     France
                                         * Belgium




                                                                                                                                                                  Spain
                                                                                                    Portugal
           * Italy




                                                                                           Sweden
                                                                                 Denmark




                                                                                                                                               Norway




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         USA
Source: International IDEA, http://www.idea.int/vt/survey/
       0
           20
                40
                     60
                          80
                               100
1828
1832
1836
1840
1844
1848
1852
1856
1860
1864
1868
1872
1876
1880
1884
1888
1892
1896
1900
1904
1908
                                     Perc ent of v oting eligible population (VEP)




1912
1916
1920
1924
1928
1932
1936
1940
1944
1948
1952
1956
1960
1964
1968
1972
1976
                                                                                         Elections, 1828-2008




1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
                                                                                     Voter Turnout in Presidential




2008
     Voter Turnout in Presidential
         Elections, 1828-2008
Perc ent of v oting eligible population (VEP)



80                                                 The 26th
                                                Amendment
                                                grants 18-20
                                                year olds the
70                                               right to vote


                 The 19th
60             Amendment
              grants women
             the right to vote

50
     1832

     1840


     1852

     1860


     1872

     1880


     1892

     1900


     1912

     1920


     1932

     1940


     1952

     1960


     1972

     1980


     1992

     2000
     1828

     1836

     1844
     1848

     1856

     1864
     1868

     1876

     1884
     1888

     1896

     1904
     1908

     1916

     1924
     1928

     1936

     1944
     1948

     1956

     1964
     1968

     1976

     1984
     1988

     1996

     2004
     2008
     Voter Turnout in Presidential
         Elections, 1828-2008
Perc ent of v oting eligible population (VEP)

65



60



55



50



45



40
     1960   1964   1968   1972   1976   1980    1984   1988   1992   1996   2000   2004   2008
How Should We Measure Turnout?
      Increasing Voter Turnout
OPTION #1: Do nothing. Once we use the appropriate
measure (e.g., VEP), there is no problem.

OPTION #2: Do nothing. Turnout may be low, but we
don’t want uneducated, uninformed people voting
anyway.

OPTION #3: Do nothing. Voter and non-voters have
similar policy preferences, so it makes little difference

OPTION #4: Do something!
      Voting by mail
      Voting early
      Internet voting
      Election day registration
 Does Low Voter Turnout Matter?

Should we prefer a:

 Smaller, more highly educated, less
 representative electorate?
 Larger, less well educated, more
 representative electorate?
      Increasing Voter Turnout
OPTION #1: Do nothing. Once we use the appropriate
measure (e.g., VEP), there is no problem.

OPTION #2: Do nothing. Turnout may be low, but we
don’t want uneducated, uninformed people voting
anyway.

OPTION #3: Do nothing. Voter and non-voters have
similar policy preferences, so it makes little difference

OPTION #4: Do something!
      Voting by mail
      Voting early
      Internet voting
      Election day registration
      Why Don’t People Vote?

Institutional context
      Motor-Voter
      Compulsory voting
      Election Day registration
      Voting by mail
      Internet voting
Motivational strategies
      Personal canvassing
      Social pressure
Enduring personal traits and
psychological orientations
      Socialization through programs such as Kids Voting USA
        How Does Motor-Voter Work?
Widely known as Motor-Voter, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993
is designed to encourage voter registration and to remove discriminatory
and unfair obstacles to voter registration.

As of January 1, 1995, the law requires states to register voters for federal
elections in three specific ways, in addition to any other procedures they
use currently for registering voters:

1. Simultaneous application for driver’s license and voter registration

2. Mail application for voter registration

3. Application in person at certain government agencies, including public
   assistance offices and agencies that provided services to people with
   disabilities
The Problem with Motor-Voter


   Voter                          Voter
Registration                     Turnout




                 Motivation
               and/or interest
                 in politics
      Why Don’t People Vote?

Institutional context
      Motor-Voter
      Compulsory voting
      Election Day registration
      Voting by mail
      Internet voting
Motivational strategies
      Personal canvassing
      Social pressure
Enduring personal traits and
psychological orientations
      Socialization through programs such as Kids Voting USA
                  Vote Mobilization
Efforts to increase voter turnout are often called “Get-Out-the-Vote”
drives, or GOTV.
  Obama goes door-to-door in Iowa




DES MOINES, Iowa - Democrat knocked on doors in the Iowa capital
Saturday talking up his opposition to the war in Iraq. At one stop, Obama got a
warm welcome from a woman who said the visit might persuade her to attend
the Democratic presidential caucus in January, "I'm flabbergasted that he's here
knocking on my neighborhood door," Jody Degard told reporters after the visit
from the Illinois senator.
       Voter Turnout as a Political
                Strategy
   With narrow
      margins of
victory, and an
electorate split
  evenly down
     the middle,
political parties
   increasingly
      battle over
 voter turnout.
              Vote Suppression
Ballot and machine shortages on
Election Day in selected precincts.
Delays in sending absentee ballots.
Vote challenges.
Disqualification of provisional
ballots.
Purges of voter registration lists
(e.g., voter caging).
Misdirection of voters to polling
places.
Negative advertising designed to
undermine morale.
Has Motor-Voter Increased Ballot Fraud?




     Nashawna Prude, 9, with a family photo that includes her
     grandmother, Kimberly, second from left, jailed for more than
     a year for voter fraud.
     Kimberly Prude was convicted of voting while on probation,
     an offense that she attributes to confusion over eligibility.
             The Debate over Photo IDs
“It's outrageous to hear my colleagues sit there and say that the Republican
Party is embarking on a move to suppress the vote of ethnic minorities
throughout the country. That is blatantly false. I am not going to sit here and by
my silence give any credence to that assertion. That's ridiculous."
                                                    —Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA)

								
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