POL- 6-2 Discussion: Voter Participation, Campaign Financing, and the Legitimacy of Elections

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Reflect on voter participation, campaign financing, and the legitimacy of elections. Also discuss whether financing elections solely with tax dollars and banning contributions from special interest groups and individuals would make elections more representative of the will of the American people. Discuss whether “voter ID laws” have the effect of disenfranchising eligible voters or of protecting the sanctity of elections from fraud.



In responding to your classmates, discuss how the low level of voter turnout in American elections can make those elections less legitimate than they would be with higher turnout. Explain and support your position.



For your response posts (2), you must do the following: 

  •   Reply to at least two different classmates outside of your own initial post thread.
     
  •   In Module One, complete the two response posts by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
     
  •   In Modules Two through Eight, complete the two response posts by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. of your local time zone.
     
  •   Demonstrate more depth and thought than simply stating that “I agree” or “You are wrong.” Guidance is provided for you in each discussion prompt. 



classmates Post #1:  

In this discussion, many questions are being raised about elections in general.  Let’s look at these question one at a time: 

Voter Participation:  The Soomo web text covered that issue very well.  It stated that a few criteria exist for the participation of voter, and they are usually categorized under a few categories.  Voter Turnout is identified as more than approximately 74 % are college graduates, most who also vote to have annual incomes above 50 k per year also most who vote are older American over the age of 35 years or older.   A lot of the voting is along party line as opposed to the quality of the candidate.  But my feeling is that voters are moving toward voting for the candidate as opposed to the party.  (Evans, J., & Michaud, K)

Campaign Financing:  The content is always at the forefront of the news every election cycle.  Monies are being thrown at the candidates and many illegal items come out of the campaigns.   For example;   Lavish Trips, extra activities not associated with the campaign (diner, escorts etc…) Dark money donor is and always have been an issue these monies are not recorded,  this is almost like play money for the campaigns to do what they want,  with whoever they want.   The SuperPAC monies are for the candidate to be influenced in a way that the average person never knows about.  The candidate doesn’t speak of the donation while on the speech tours but the widely influence the route a candidate take after he is elected.  Even in small-town elections the monies from developers, business influences are given being the seen for agendas that no one sees. (Evans, J., & Michaud, K)

The legitimacy of Elections and the Voter ID issue goes hand in hand with each other.   Many believe that voter fraud and the id or lack thereof is the biggest issue that the country has to deal with in each election cycle.  The issues on both sides create very big debates all over the country.   We see that only 35 states have laws that mandate some sore of voter id.   The variations of the id law create issues with absentee ballots and people showing up to a poll and voting the going to another poll and voting again.  In 2018, 17 states asked for voter id and 17 other states asked for no id at all.  Looking at the volume of ballet it is hard to tell who is legitimate and who is not.  (vote early vote often).   In a major city such as Chicago, this motto has been around for many years. (Underhill, W)

In my option, the special interest groups will always find there way into the election process someway.  By using only tax dollars to fund campaigns is an unfair ay to have monies from the federal coffers to be used in the elections.  Monies for elections should be taken on a donation basis only but the hard part is to have regulatory committees oversee all elections throughout the country.

Evans, J., & Michaud, K. (2019). Central ideas in American government (9th ed.). Asheville, NC: Soomo Learning. Available from http://www.webtexts.com

Underhill, W. (n.d.). Voter id. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx



classmates Post #2: 

what I have seen and read is that a lot of decisions and different viewpoints go into voter participation. Many of us already grow up with a party identification in terms of what values and beliefs we have grown up with. I grew up in a liberal household and so my parents viewpoints did rub off on me. I didn't start voting in the federal elections till I was 31 and thats only because I became a US citizen and I was happy for the opportunity to participate in this very important act. When I couldn't vote and would see people that could but did not take the initiative to do so was disappointing. A citizen has the right to make their voice heard and instead most of them just express their opinions on social media rather than going to the polls. One reason that I read in the text for low voter turnout is that mobility in the United States has increased so people don't take the initiative to do a change of address for the voter registration (Evans & Michaud, 2019). I call it laziness, if you can go to the post office and make an address change for your mail then you can absolutely do the same for voting. The second reason I read in the text is a bit more logical but still not an excuse. I agree that the loss of social capital can have an effect because connectedness in a community has declined and so many people just don't feel that need to make change. Most people now communicate through virtual means and so there isn't this physical connection to an area that you live in. People also are bombarded with negative campaign images and that can be disheartening and so you see that no matter who is voted in they all have some sort of black mark in their history. 

Campaigning does cost money and it's something that I don't believe our political system can eliminate. How are these people supposed to travel and talk to voters if they don't have the money to do it. They also need to advertise and put themselves out there and without money we would probably never hear from them or see their faces. Getting voters is a task that takes a time and money but I also believe that those campaign contributions need to be legitimate. There are many special interest groups out there that do contribute to elections and I feel that with those monetary contributions comes a sort of "now you owe me" mentality. They are attempting to affect politics in their favor and will expect their candidate to fulfill those favors if elected into office. Tax dollars shouldn't be used for an individuals campaign and it should be donations based. A candidate should have to work hard to secure voters donations. I believe having an easy ride of using tax money to campaign would make a candidate lazy and be less proactive with getting to know their voters because now they don't have to rely on their donations.

Wherever there can be fraud there will be fraud. This includes the voting polls. ID laws make sure that every vote is legitimate and I fully support this. To some it may seem mundane and an annoyance to have to register to vote and have legitimate identification but this is what is needed to make sure that those fraudulent individuals can't slip through the cracks. Security measures need to be in place so that the sanctity of elections can be protected and stay protected.

Evans, J., & Michaud, K. (2019). Central Ideas in American Government (9th ed). Asheville, NC. Soomo Learning. Retrieved from http://www.webtexts.com

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