Elections and voting

Presidential elctions occur every...
4 years
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First presidential elction held in...
1788
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Presidents are limited to...
two terms in office
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Requirements of presidential candidate...
Must be a natural born American citizen Must be at least 35 years old There is a residency qualification of 14 years
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Extra- constitutional requirements...
Political experience, Major party endorsement,Personal characteristics, Ability to raise large sums of money,Effective organisation, Oratorical skills being telegenic, Sound and relevant points
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What is the invisinble primary?
The period between candidates declaring an intention to run for presidency and the first contests of the primary season The invisible primary is played out mainly in the media Preparation starts years before the actual election takes place
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Candidates hope to ...
be mentioned in the newspapers, as possible serious presidential candidates
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What is a primary?
A primary is a state-bases election to choose a party’s candidate for presidency.Shows support among ordinary voters and chooses delegates who will vote for them at the NPC e.g. New Hampshire
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What is a caucus?
A caucuses is a state-based series of meetings for the selection of a party’s candidate for the presidency
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States that hold caucuses are usually ...
geographical large but thinly populated e.g. Iowa
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Differences between primaries and caucuses
In caucuses only members registered with the political party can participate Some primaries allow on the day registration Caucuses voting is done via raising hands or breaking off into group Primaries via secret ballot. Primaries are better attended
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Some states like New Hampshire hold their primaries
on a day where no other primaries are being held, in an attempt to give their state prominence
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Iowa traditionally holds
the first caucus
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What is Super Tuesday?
states purposely arrange their primaries to coincide with neighbouring states, therefore creating regional primaries to try gain influence for their region in the selection of the major presidential candidates
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What is Front loading?
This is where an increasing number of states schedule their presidential primaries or caucuses earlier, in an attempt to increase the importance of their state in choosing the presidential candidate for that party
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What is a Closed primary?
A primary election where only registered democrats can vote in the Democratic primary and only Republicans can vote in the Republican primaries e.g. ohio
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What is a Open Primary?
A primary election where any registered voter can vote in the primary of either party e.g. Texas
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What are Proportional primaries?
Candidates are awarded delegates in proportion to how may votes they got (all democrat primaries) e.g. New Hampshire
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What is meant by Winner-takes-all?
Whoever gets the most votes wins all that states delegates (some republican primaries) e.g. Arizona
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What are the Advantages of Primaries?
The gruelling race seen appropriate The power of party bosses are done away with The process is opened up to outsidersThere is a significant increase in the choice of candidates There is an increased level of participation by ordinary voters
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What are the disadvantages of Primaries?
Lack of peer reviewPrimaries can easily develop into bitter personal battles Process is too dominated by the media Process is far too long Voters are unrepresented of the voting-age population Widespread voter apathy and boredom
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What is a National Party convention?
Usually held in August or early September Conventions are attended by delegates most of them chosen in primaries and caucuses They usually last 3-4 days Each day of the convention will have a theme and a prime-time speaker
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What are the formal functions?
In theory chooses the parties presidential candidate Each state’s delegates announce which candidates they wish to vote for Choosing the party’s vice-presidential candidate Deciding the party platform
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What are the informal functions?
Promoting party unity Enthusing the party faithful Enthusing the ordinary voters
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Are party conventions still important? No
Presidential candidates now decided during the primaries No second ballot at either convention since 1952 VP candidates are now announced before the convention Party platform agreed by the platform committee before the convention TV reduced
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Are party conventions still important? YES
Only time the national parties meet together Opportunity to promote party unity Opportunity to enthuse party members Introduce new VP Presidential candidate acceptance speech is key moment in the campaign Lead to significant post-convention bounce
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How does the electoral college work?
Each state is awarded a certain number of electoral college votes There are 538 college votes To win presidency an absolute majority of 270 The popular votes for each candidate are counted in each state
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Strengths of the electoral college
It preserves the voice of small-population states It tends to promote a two-horse race In two horse race the winner tends to receive more than 50% of the popular vote
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Weaknesses of the electoral college
Small states are over-represented Winner-takes-all system distorts the results Unfair to national third parties Rogue electors Potential problems regarding system if /electoral College is deadlock
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What are presidential debates?
Televised debates between presidential candidates have now become a major part of their campaign and the process There are 3 90minute debates between the presidential candidates
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Debates rules of thumb
Good sound bites help- Style is often more important than substance- Verbal gaffes can be costly Debates are potentially more difficult for incumbents than for challengers, s they have a record to defend
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Possible reforms
Congressional district system – involves awarding one electoral college vote to a candidate for each congressional district that they win and two electoral college votes to the candidate who is the state-wide winner. BUT this would lead to the result
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Possible reforms
A proportional system- Allocate electoral college votes in each state proportionally to the popular vote in that state. Fairer to national third parties, however this means that it would make it harder for a candidate to receive an absolute majority
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Possible reforms
Direct election
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What are congressional elections?
Occur every 2 years. One-third of senators up for re-election Members of the House of Rep are up for re-election every 2 years and the senate 6 years Held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November Called mid-term elections
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Constitutional requirements for the HOR
Over 25 US citizen for at least 7 years Resident of the state they represent
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Constitutional requirements for the Senate
Over 30 US citizen for at least 9 years Resident of state they represent
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What is the Coattails effect?
The effect of a strong candidate for a party at the top of the ticket helping other candidates of the same party to get elected at the same time
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What is Split-ticket voting?
Occurs when someone votes for candidates of different political parties for different offices at the same election
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What is a proposition?
Citizens of a state can place proposed laws and in some states, constitutional amendments- on the state ballot
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There are two types of propositions...
Direct- where proposals that qualify go straight on the state ballot Indirect- proposals submitted to a state legislator, which decides what further action should be followed
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Advantages of propositions
Provide a way of enacting reforms on controversial issues Increase responsiveness and accountability Help increase voter turnout Increase citizen interest in state policy issues
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Disadvantages of propositions
Lack of flexibility of the legislative process Vulnerable to manipulation by interest groups
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What is a referendum?
Electoral device available in all 50 states, by which voters can effectively veto a bill passed by the state legislature
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What is a recall election?
Enables voters in a state to remove an elected official from office before their term is up Can be seen as a direct from of impeachment
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First presidential elction held in...

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1788

Card 3

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Presidents are limited to...

Back

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Card 4

Front

Requirements of presidential candidate...

Back

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Card 5

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Extra- constitutional requirements...

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