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VOTING AND ELECTIONS Chapter 12 O Connor and Sabato American Government Continuity and Change VOTING AND ELECTIONS In this chapter we will cover The Purposes Served by Elections Different Kinds of Elections Presidential Elections Congressional Elections Campaign Finance Laws Sources of Campaign Contributions Voting Behavior The Purposes Served by Elections Most change in the United States comes about on the basis of elections Elections generally allow us to avoid general strikes coups d etats riots Elections serve to legitimate governments through the mandates of the electorate to fill public offices and organize governments to allow people with different views and policy agendas to come to power to ensure that the government remains accountable to the people PRIMARY ELECTIONS A primary election is one in which voters decide which of the candidates within a party will represent the party in the general election TYPES OF PRIMARIES Closed Primary Only registered party members are allowed to vote Advantage Members of one party do not influence the outcomes of another party s primary Allows the party maximum control Open Primary Allows independents and members of other parties to vote Advantage more democratic Blanket Primary Voters may vote in either party s primary but not in both on an office by office basis Runoff Primary If no candidate wins in these primaries a second primary election is held between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes in the first primary GENERAL ELECTION A general election is one in which voters decide which candidate will actually fill elective public office Other Types of Elections Initiative Referendum and Recall Initiatives allow citizens to propose legislation and submit it to popular vote A referendum allows the legislature to submit proposed legislation for popular approval Recall elections allow citizens to remove someone from office Used in 24 states and the District of Columbia NATIONAL CONVENTION DELEGATES



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