Voting and Elections
Analysts have found that the voting behavior exhibited by Americans has its roots in a number of socio-economic factors. Firstly, race and ethnicity are key determinants of a person’s political inclinations and voting behavior. People belonging to racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to vote and be represented in the electoral process. Additionally, when they do vote, they are more likely to vote for Democrats, because of the perception that the party has been a leading force in the push for civil rights and liberties. Economic factors also affect voting patterns, as wealthier people are more likely to engage in the electoral process. One reason for this is that wealthy people tend to be more educated; a factor that increases a person’s likelihood to participate in the elections.
Voter turnout is a critical issue in all democracies because it helps determine the effectiveness of the system. Experts have identified various reasons for low voter turnout. One of the key reasons is a steady decrease in the trust and confidence that the voters have in their governments and politicians. Because of this, people are beginning to develop negative perceptions regarding the importance and effectiveness of democratic systems. Voter turnout is also being affected by negative campaigning. Smear campaigns tend to lead to a reduction in the number of people who are willing to participate in the electoral process.
Third parties face numerous difficulties within the US electoral process. Firstly, the small membership that these parties have makes it difficult for them to raise enough funds for their campaigns. Political activities of third parties are also hampered by the fact that the media does not give them the coverage they require and often excludes them from presidential debates and other forums.
Redistricting is the process of modifying the boundaries of an electoral district to reflect changes in the population. Many scholars argue that redistricting can sometimes create a partisan advantage in the elections by enabling the incumbents to influence the process in a way that allows them to retain key demographics. The process also affects elections by allowing people in power to eliminate some opponents and by doing so reduce the election’s competitiveness.
The Electoral College is an institution that determines the person who becomes the president and vice president of the United States. Normally, the college works through electors, who are representative to the number of senators and members of the House of Representatives that a state has. One of the reasons why the system was created was to have an alternative to the popular voting system, which can sometimes be compromised by the lack of clear majorities. Additionally, the Electoral College helps to ensure that all states are relevant to the electoral process, regardless of size and population.