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10.3b The Process of Voting

The popular votes on federal candidates are usually filed on Tuesday. The workers of both major parties make great efforts to get out the vote of their constituents on that day. All voting is done by secret ballot, thus reducing the opportunity for coercion of several states offer the opportunity of filing absentee ballots when it is inconvenient for the voter to attend at the polls. The polls are generally open for voting from sunrise to sunset, after which the counting process begins. Voting machines make it easier to obtain results quickly and announcements about the results begin to be made. News about the fate of the U.S. senators, representatives, and state and local officers is given along with the news of the presidential election.

"Maybe I ought to listen. This year I start voting."

Exhibit 10.2
Who Votes

10.3c Who Votes and who doesn't

There is a variation of the extent of voting among different types of persons, areas and elections. People earning low-incomes tend to vote in fewer numbers than the wealthy because they have less economic security and experience less of a sense of control over their political environment. Again, college-educated people, consider voting to be a civic duty since they are more exposed to political ideas and personalities. Middle-aged people, with higher incomes tend to vote more than younger people who are busy getting established and older people suffering from the infirmities. Women may also feel less social pressure to vote, than men may. Finally, an important psychological factor influencing a person's decision to vote is his identification with his political party. A partisan, concerned about the outcome of the election, can be induced to vote, owing to his strong partisanship.

Other devices have been used to permit public opinion to influence public policy. Thus through initiative voters can themselves legislate. A proposed statute or constitutional amendment is placed upon the ballot by securing the signatures of a required number of voters. It goes into effect, if it is approved by the voters. Thus with help of the initiative process, a major property tax reform was approved by voters in California. The referendum is another device by which a bill or constitutional amendment that has been voted by the legislature is submitted for the approval of the electorate before it goes into effect. Finally by recall a public officer may be removed before his term is completed, if his policies meet with their disapproval.


10.0 - Introduction
10.1 The Expansion of Suffrage
10.2 Obstacles to Voting
10.3 Voter Turnout
10.4 Voting Choices
10.5 Getting Nominated and Compaigning for Office
10.6 Electing Candidates to Office

Chapter 11

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