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Elections Summary

Page history last edited by Sarah Mann 13 years, 11 months ago

Previous Section: Problems in Elections



Make sure you know this:


Political Parties:


1. Political parties weren't always an integral part of American politics.

2. Grew out of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, who supported and large national government and small national government respectively.

3. Shifted to Jeffersonian-Republicans who later became the Democrats against the Whigs.

4. Whigs died out, Republicans rose in their place and held the presidency for 52 years, with the exception of one President (turned into modern Republicans).

5. Democrats came back during the Great Depression, and held power for decades to come (now they are the same as modern Democrats).

6. With the election of Nixon, there has been a divided party government for a majority of the past 38 years.


1. Left vs right; Democrats vs. Republicans

     a. Democrats are more for equality, large government, and progressive ideas on social issues

     b. Republicans are more for competition and independance, small government, traditional view on social issues

2. Third parties have a small, but important role in American politics as the "safety valve"


Local Elections:

1. Different from city to city, with three main types (Mayor Council, Comission, Council Manager)

2. Voting restrictions and methods of voting

3. Requirenments for holding office and different methods of campaigning as well as regulations.

4. County elections


State Elections:

1. Different from state to state, but are very similar to national elections

2. Executive branch: most of the time governor is elected by direct vote.

3. Legislative branch: different from state to state, but in Arizona, House has two representatives from each district, and Senate has one. Not based on population, equal representation.

4. Judicial branch: appointed to Arizona Supreme Court


National Elections:

Election Cycle:

1. Nominations

2. Primaries

3. Primary Season

4. National Convention (only for presidential elections)

5. General Elections

6. Electoral College (only for presidential elections)


Presidential Elections:

Election Cycle:

1. Selection of Delegates

2. Voting by the People

3. Electors Vote


Winner-take-all System v. Congressional Districts System:

(Remember the difference between all states v. Maine and Nebraska?)


Electoral College:

The electoral college is an institution created by the framers of the Constitution.  They created this body as a way to separate the elite from the non-elite in society (presidenent elected by U.S. Congress and the election by popular vote).  The electoral college is comprised of 538 electors representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

- Faithless Elector Problem



1. PACs

2. 527s

3. Individuals

4. Soft Money v. Hard Money

5. Limits for Spending


Voter Participation:

Voter turnout:

- lowest voter turnout (18-26)


Voting Forms:

1. Paper Ballots

2. Mechanic Lever Machines

3. Punch Cards

4. Marksense

5. Direct Recording Electronic


Voting Districts:


- how it affects which candidate wins


Recall Elections and Referendums and Initiatives:

Elections are not only held to select a representative.  A recall election is a process through which voters can shorten an office holder's term.  In order to hold a recall election, an official petition is needed that typically involves the names of at least 25% of the people who voted for the official in the prior election.  If the majority wins the recall election, the official is removed from office.  Citizens also vote on referendums.  A referendum is the process through which voters may vote on new laws and statutory issues, in turn increasing the voters' power over government.  In order for voters to vote on referendums, initiatives must be proposed, processes through which voters may propose new laws.

- Recall Elections:

     - Petition

     - Recall Election v. Impeachment

- Referendum:

- Initiative:



* Information taken from previous sections. 


Next Section: Terms

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