Matching Items (16)

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The Demographics of Polling Places

Description

Elections in the United States are highly decentralized with vast powers given to the states to control laws surrounding voter registration, primary procedures, and polling places even in elections of

Elections in the United States are highly decentralized with vast powers given to the states to control laws surrounding voter registration, primary procedures, and polling places even in elections of federal officials. There are many individual factors that predict a person's likelihood of voting including race, education, and age. Historically disenfranchised groups are still disproportionately affected by restrictive voter registration and ID laws which can suppress their turnout. Less understood is how election-day polling place accessibility affects turnout. Absentee and early voting increase accessibility for all voters, but 47 states still rely on election-day polling places. I study how the geographic allocation of polling places and the number of voters assigned to each (polling place load) in Maricopa County, Arizona has affected turnout in primary and general elections between 2006 and 2016 while controlling for the demographics of voting precincts. This represents a significant data problem; voting precincts changed three times during the time studied and polling places themselves can change every election. To aid in analysis, I created a visualization that allows for the exploration of polling place load, precinct demographics, and polling place accessibility metrics in a map view of the county. I find through a spatial regression model that increasing the load on a polling place can decrease the election-day turnout and prohibitively large distances to the polling place have a similar effect. The effect is more pronounced during general elections and is present at varying levels during each of the 12 elections studied. Finally, I discuss how early voting options appear to have little positive effect on overall turnout and may in fact decrease it.

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  • 2017-12

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An Analysis of the Motivations Behind Third Party Voting

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In this work we analyze just what makes the topic of third party voting so intriguing to voters and why it is different than voting for one of the major

In this work we analyze just what makes the topic of third party voting so intriguing to voters and why it is different than voting for one of the major parties in American politics. First, we will discuss briefly the history of politics in America and what makes it exciting. Next, we will outline some of the works by other political and economic professionals such as Hotelling, Lichtman and Rietz. Finally, using the framework described beforehand this paper will analyze the different stances that voters, candidates, and others involved in the political process of voting have regarding the topic of third party voting.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Situating Millennials' Political Attitudes and Low Electoral Participation: An Analysis of Young Americans' Civic Engagement and Voter Turnout

Description

Millennials turn out to vote at significantly lower rates than the rest of the population, sparking commentary on their apathy and lack of contributions to American society. This thesis attempts

Millennials turn out to vote at significantly lower rates than the rest of the population, sparking commentary on their apathy and lack of contributions to American society. This thesis attempts to paint an accurate description of why these trends have persisted in the past, and finds that there are many complex reasons that serve as explanations. Many of these reasons can be explained by an analysis of Millennials' characteristics and political attitudes, which research has found includes a prioritization of achievement and Independent political ideologies. Additionally, by differentiating between civic engagement and political engagement, data and research find that Millennials choose forms of civic participation over political participation as an active choice and alternative avenue for electoral participation. Ultimately, Millennials are disillusioned with the politically polarized landscape and are unable to navigate the saturated information environment to make confident voting decisions. The rest of the thesis explores organizations, campaigns, and potential reforms that attempt to turn out Millennials. A thorough evaluation of campaigns' and nonpartisan organizations' efforts reveal the best practices for reaching Millennials, which include prioritizing substantive policy discussions, implementing grassroots and bottom-up organizational strategies, and avoiding flashiness and pandering. Another clear area for potential reform is civic education, which is currently not prioritized in the public education system. Some education reforms that would be particularly effective at reversing these negative trends include allowing for political debate within the classroom, teaching civics through more vibrant and hands-on curriculum and directly highlighting and perpetuating the importance of voting in the classroom. This thesis evaluates these and many other potential policy reforms that will encourage Millennials' political engagement as they further enter into adulthood.

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  • 2017-05

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Reforming America's Out-Dated Voting System

Description

Very little of modern America resembles the country that existed during the time of the Nation's founding. The country has technologically, socially, and economically advanced to the point of likely

Very little of modern America resembles the country that existed during the time of the Nation's founding. The country has technologically, socially, and economically advanced to the point of likely being unrecognizable to our Founding Fathers. However the American Voting system is strikingly similar to the system established over two centuries prior. The current system of First-Past-The-Post voting has numerous structural biases and inadequacies that contribute to the current level of American dissatisfaction. The system discourages compromise, prevents the formation of third parties, is vulnerable to manipulated, and contributes to the toxic American political environment. Adopting a replacement for the outdated First-Past-The-Post system would provide significant advantages to the current United States political system. In this paper both Alternative Voting and Proportional Representation systems will be evaluated as viable replacements for the current system. The ongoing nature of the American political experiment contributes to the obstacles of objective political science conclusions. In order to evaluate the current and possible replacement systems, a logical base is required. Information Measurement Theory utilizes dominant information to aid in the decision making process. Developed by Dean Kashiwagi to improve efficiency across multiple fields, this logical system simplifies complex issues down to their most basic elements. Information Measurement Theory will be used to determine: 1. Which voting system offers the clearest communication between the government and the governed 2. Which voting system best discourages strategic voting 3. Which system best promotes long term democratic stability Determining the voting system that best satisfies these three criteria will provide the American Electorate with an electoral reform goal and the means of improving the American political climate.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Millennials' Voting Behavior: The Impact of Social Media

Description

Young voters are the future of the country, yet are disengaged and disinterested in politics, leading to low turnout rates. This paper focuses on the Millennial generation, which consists of

Young voters are the future of the country, yet are disengaged and disinterested in politics, leading to low turnout rates. This paper focuses on the Millennial generation, which consists of adults ages 18 to 33, and at times, narrowly focuses on the subset of college students. Since individuals should learn about the presidential candidates and the election before casting a vote, I analyze the similarities and differences between receiving election content through television news, a traditional source, compared to social media. Next, I examine the importance of political expression and political discussion, along with how millennials engaging in such activity on social media allows for a deeper level of engagement in elections than what was possible before the birth of social media. Thus, as opposed to focusing on the reasons milllennials shy away from politics, the purpose of the first three chapters is to highlight the potential benefits for using social media during presidential elections. Lastly, I analyze millennials' voting behaviors, particularly the generation's preference for liberal social values. Since we are currently in the 2016 U.S. presidential election season, the purpose of this chapter is to highlight current research regarding millennials' voting patterns, which should then be compared to the future 2016 general election studies. By analyzing consistent and divergent trends, researchers can further add to the discussion of millennials' political behavior. Although I dedicate a brief part to the 2016 presidential election in Chapters 2 through 4 to discuss how trends are similar or different from current research, the overall purpose of this paper is to inform readers about how millennials learn, engage, and participate in presidential elections.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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In Defense of the Electoral College

Description

In this paper, I defend the Electoral College system used to elect the President of the United States against criticisms that the system should be more democratic. I first take

In this paper, I defend the Electoral College system used to elect the President of the United States against criticisms that the system should be more democratic. I first take a look at federal republican theory and the contemporary issues which influenced and persuaded the Founding Fathers to adopt this theory \u2014 not only as the foundation of the presidential election system, but also as the foundation of the United States Constitution. I describe that the purpose of federal republicanism is to ensure that power is distributed such that no group of people is too powerful to oppress others. I then provide a basic description of the Electoral College and demonstrate how the system is not purely democratic. From here, I defend the Electoral College's partially undemocratic nature on the grounds that state representation is a fundamental part of federal republicanism. I subsequently address four issues alleged by critics concerning the Electoral College: discouraged voter participation, unrepresented state minorities, the creation of battleground states and safe states, and the entrenchment of the two-party system. With respect to discouraged voter participation, I argue that the issue is not unique to the Electoral College system. With respect to unrepresented state minorities, I argue that if states distribute College electors proportionally to give state minorities representation, it would strengthen national interests at the expense of state interests and hurt the federal system of government. With respect to battleground states and safe states, I argue that they do not cause presidential candidates to ignore voters any more than under a national popular vote system. And, with respect to the two- party system, I argue that it does little harm to representation because the Democratic and Republican parties are internally diverse. Finally, I use federal republican theory to challenge the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) \u2014 a purely democratic solution to reform the Electoral College without Constitutional amendment \u2014 on the grounds that it would throw away state representation, eliminate the federal aspect of the election system, and face legal controversy.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Why We Vote: Student Stories on Civic Engagement & Voting

Description

“Why We Vote” explores attitudes and rationales among college students regarding civic and voter engagement. The major tangible outcome of this project is a photo series displaying portraits of students

“Why We Vote” explores attitudes and rationales among college students regarding civic and voter engagement. The major tangible outcome of this project is a photo series displaying portraits of students paired with a short vignette about their voting or civic engagement story. To diversify the series, we have engaged participants from a broad range of personal identities and civic engagement levels. We want to give visibility to the experiences of those who are commonly cast aside, especially in regard to civic and voting initiatives. Our project utilizes personal storytelling to spark dialogue about civic engagement,
particularly among the 18-24 age demographic. We chose to use storytelling as the primary medium for our project because it is a vehicle for empathy, a lacking component of modern civic life in the United States. It provokes students to think critically about how and why they engage in civic life and connect campus communities of students with common experiences. We are interested to see how our presence on campuses impacts the level and nature of their civic dialogue and how our findings are situated within our quantitative research.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Turning Non-Voters into Voters: A New Political Survey

Description

This paper puts forth an argument for a new form of political survey that is aimed towards those who have the ability to vote, but choose not to. First, I

This paper puts forth an argument for a new form of political survey that is aimed towards those who have the ability to vote, but choose not to. First, I will explain the importance of voting. Second, I will outline the structure of the survey. Third, I will explain how current surveys are inadequate. I will go into detail on the methods by which people make the decision whether or not to vote, and will discuss some issues of pragmatism that will need to be answered for this survey to find success.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Modern Threats to American Democracy: A Study of 21st-Century Declines in Civic Engagement

Description

This project offers an argument that isolates several major forces that it contends pose a critical threat to the endurance of modern American democracy. It evaluates modern and classic political

This project offers an argument that isolates several major forces that it contends pose a critical threat to the endurance of modern American democracy. It evaluates modern and classic political philosophy to identify the prerequisites for a stable democracy, identifying and defining voter education and participation as necessary contributors to civic engagement. It provides a socio-legal framework for evaluating four phenomena that have shifted in their impact on politics over the past 20 years: the roles of money and media in politics, as well as disenfranchisement by gerrymandering and by felon voting restrictions. It demonstrates how each has a new and worsening impact on voter education and/or participation, thus threatening the continued existence of modern American democracy.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Modern Threats to American Democracy: A Study of 21st-Century Declines in Civic Engagement

Description

This project offers an argument that isolates several major forces that it contends pose a critical threat to the endurance of modern American democracy. It evaluates modern and classic political

This project offers an argument that isolates several major forces that it contends pose a critical threat to the endurance of modern American democracy. It evaluates modern and classic political philosophy to identify the prerequisites for a stable democracy, identifying and defining voter education and participation as necessary contributors to civic engagement. It provides a socio-legal framework for evaluating four phenomena that have shifted in their impact on politics over the past 20 years: the roles of money and media in politics, as well as disenfranchisement by gerrymandering and by felon voting restrictions. It demonstrates how each has a new and worsening impact on voter education and/or participation, thus threatening the continued existence of modern American democracy.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05