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Mlk Jr. and Thoreau

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mesh1010
Words 965
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AP Government


Political Participation
I. A closer look at nonvoting A. Alleged problem: low turnout of voters in the U.S. compared to Europe 1. Data are misleading: tend to compare turnout of voting-age population; turnout of registered voters reveals problem is not so severe 2. Real problem is low voter registration rates a) Proposed solution: get-out-the-vote drives b) But this will not help those who are not registered 3. Apathy is not the only cause of non-registration a) Registration has costs in the U.S.; there are no costs in European countries where registration is automatic b) Motor-voter law of 1993 took effect in 1995, lowered costs and increased registration throughout the country B. Voting is not the only way of participating—by other measures, Americans may participate in politics more than Europeans. C. Important question: how do different kinds of participation affect the government?
II. The rise of the American electorate (THEME A: POPULAR PARTICIPATION IN ELECTIONS) A. From state to federal control 1. Initially, states decided who could vote and for which offices 2. This led to wide variation in federal elections 3. Congress has since reduced state prerogatives through law and constitutional amendment. a) 1842 law: House members elected by district b) 15th Amendment (1870): seemed to give suffrage to African Americans (1) Opened the door to literacy tests, poll taxes, and grandfather clauses (2) Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally guaranteed right to vote to Blacks c) Women given right to vote by 19th Amendment (1920); participation rose immediately, but no major impact on electoral outcomes d) 18-year-olds given suffrage…...

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