American Government Ch 7

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The idea that ordinary people have a right and a duty to participate in public affairs is the essential component of the ideal of


Women gained the right to vote

early in the 20th century

The poll tax was used to

disenfranchise African Americans in the South

The frequency of elections in the United States reduces voter turnout by

increasing the personal effort needed to participate in all elections.

Unlike in many other democracies, elections in the United States are traditionally held on


One of the reasons why voter turnout is lower in the United States than in Western European countries is that

U.S. registration laws place a greater burden on the individual.

Voter registration in the United States

began as a way of preventing voters from casting more than one ballot on election day.

Civic duty and apathy are attitudes that are usually acquired from

one’s parents

Regular voters tend to be characterized by

a strong sense of civic duty.

As distinct from alienation, apathy is

a general lack of interest in politics.

Which of the following groups of people is most adversely affected by the country’s registration system?

those with less income and education

Education and income affects voter turnout

more in the United States than in Europe.

In comparison with citizens in Western European democracies, Americans are less likely to

vote in national elections.

The chief obstacle to Americans’ participation in community activities is the

lack of personal motivation to get involved.

Voter identification cards find the most support among


All of the following tend to decrease voter turnout EXCEPT

sharp policy differences between major parties.

Which of the following is true of the Internet organization

It was instrumental in helping Barack Obama defeat Hillary Clinton in their race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination

A sustained action by citizens disenchanted with government to express their opposition and work to bring about the change they seek is a

social movement

When it comes to protest activities, a majority of Americans are

not highly supportive of such activities, despite America’s tradition of free expression.

Most candidates for office in the United States aim their appeals at

middle income voters


a. allows elected officials to claim that their policies reflect the will of the people. b. provides citizens with a regular way to express themselves. c. is the most widespread form of political participation. d. is both a means by which government controls the people and a means by which the people control government.

The adoption of voter identification cards by several states

will likely cause a decline in voter turnout.

Protest activity is a reversal to the pattern of voting in that it

is more likely to involve younger citizens rather than older ones.

Which country has the highest estimated voter turnout in major national elections in recent decades?


Historically speaking, states with the most restrictive voting registration laws are concentrated in which region?


In the twenty-first century, voting rates in the United States have

increased in presidential elections, while continuing to remain lowest in local ones.

Citizens in which of the following countries are most likely to volunteer time and money to promote community causes?

The U.S.

Which of the following states has a voter identification card law?


If Americans vote less than Europeans, why are they more likely to work in a political campaign than are citizens in Europe?

America’s federal structure provides more campaign opportunities.

Many white working-class citizens failed to vote in the 1968 and 1972 elections because they felt alienated by the centrality of which political issue?

civil rights

Compared with U.S. citizens of higher income, those of lower income are

much less likely to vote in elections.

Eighteen, nineteen, and twenty year-old Americans were granted the right to vote in ________.


In the United States, the primary responsibility for registration of the individual voter rests with the


Since the 1960s, the level of turnout in presidential elections has averaged ________ percent.


The "motor voter" law

a. was passed in 1993. b. made it easier for citizens to register to vote. c. linked voter registration to the vehicle registration process. d. was passed in 1993 and linked voter registration to the vehicle registration process.

What issue has done the most to bring young Americans to the voting booth in the twenty-first century?

the war in Iraq

________ elections tend to draw the largest percentage of voters in the U.S.


Harvard’s Robert Putnam argues in his book Bowling Alone that

America has been undergoing a long-term decline in its social capital.

The citizens of ________ are most likely to participate as campaign volunteers during an election.

the U.S.

When the nation was founded, who was eligible to vote?

only white males who owned property

What did political scientist Larry Bartels demonstrate in his book Unequal Democracy?

Elected officials are substantially more responsive to the concerns of their more affluent constituents than to those of their poorer constituents.

In the United States,

voter registration requirements have usually been set by the states.

Which of the following is true of the Georgia law that required citizens without a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to obtain a voter identification card, which would cost them twenty dollars and expire after five years?

A federal judge invalidated Georgia’s twenty-dollar fee requirement, but the photo ID requirement stood.

Political protests

are today usually planned events.

Should elections be held on weekends or perhaps as national holidays—why or why not?

This is an open-ended question. Conducting elections on weekends or as national holidays would make turnout easier, but would apathetic citizens change their behavior and vote, or would they ignore elections as usual? Also, making elections national holidays would have consequences for the national economy.

Describe three systemic reasons why Americans vote at a lower rate than Western Europeans.

Americans vote at a lower rate than Europeans for several reasons. Although both American and European governments require their citizens to register to vote, European governments are responsible for locating and placing individuals on registration rolls. In the United States it is up to the individual to register. This personal responsibility discourages registration and hence lowers American voter turnout. The frequency of American elections reduces voter turnout by increasing the effort required to participate in all of them, and American elections are held during a workday instead of a holiday or weekend, making it even more difficult to get to the polls. Another reason for low voter turnout is the restrictive voter registration requirements that some states have in place. America also lacks the strong socialist or labor parties, politically-oriented trade unions, and class-based political ideologies that encourage the lower-income classes to vote in Europe.

Give three reasons why some Americans vote regularly while others do not.

One reason some Americans vote more regularly than others is that they have a more developed sense of civic duty than others. Civic duty is a belief that citizens have certain responsibilities, one of which is voting. Citizens who tend not to vote have a weak sense of civic duty. Another factor is age. Because younger people are less likely to have the political interest that can come with home ownership, permanent employment, and a family, they are less likely to vote than older people. Finally, voting is closely related to socioeconomic status. The higher a person’s socioeconomic status, the more likely he or she will vote. This relationship is particularly strong in the United States because there is no socialist or labor party to appeal to people of low socioeconomic status

Define unconventional activism and its aims, and provide historical examples; describe Americans’ attitudes toward unconventional activism.

Unconventional activism is another name for social movements and protest politics. Social movements are usually channeled through conventional forms of participation, such as political lobbying, but citizens sometimes take to the streets in protest against government policies. Protest politics can threaten established authority, and occasionally provoke a violent response from government, as the Kent State shootings illustrate. Through demonstrations, picket lines, and marches, protesters dramatize their opposition to official policies. The abolitionist, labor, women’s suffrage, and civil rights movements all used unconventional activism to varying degrees. In general, most Americans are not highly supportive of protest politics. Protest politics have undergone changes in recent years, and are now much more likely to be planned events involving detailed coordination to bring higher attention to a particular cause.

Why are people of higher income and education levels more likely to be politically active?

Americans of lower income and education levels tend to vote less than those at the top. People of higher income and education are more likely to possess the financial resources, communication skills, and time to engage in potentially rewarding political activities, such as voting. Also, the U.S. political system does not have structures (for example, a labor party or universal registration) that would encourage lower-income and less educated citizens to participate. In addition, it has been shown that most candidates for office and elected politicians make their appeals to middle and upper-income voters to a much greater degree than to lower-income voters.

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