The remaining states don't require election officials to ask for photographic identification.
There is a low risk of voter fraud or the potential for barriers to voting, whichever is more important to legislators and voters.
Social scientists generally find minimal levels of fraud, minimal effects of such laws on voter turnout, and minimal effects on people's confidence in the electoral system.
The biggest differences in turnout are between election years.
When the president is on the ticket, turnout is higher.
When the president is not on the ticket, turnout can go up to 50 points in local elections.
Part of the surge and decline is due to the election calendar and part is due to campaign activities and voter interest in the election outcomes.
We will discuss these behavioral matters later.
Some of our most cherished precepts about voting rights are reflected in the way Americans cast their votes.
Most people choose not to tell others how they voted.
Privacy and anonymity are provided by polling places.
The secret ballot seems incongruous with voting, because elections are very public.
For the first century of the Republic, voting was open.
The secret ballot became widespread at the end of the 19th century because of vote buying and voter intimidation caused by public voting.
The secret ballot has implications for how people view themselves as voters.
It is a strong assertion of the individual, reflecting the individual's knowledge about the choices and his or her preferences about government.
When voting is public, the choices individuals make reflect the group as well as their own thinking.
If you attend a caucus or town hall meeting, you will see the difference between these events and voting in a voting booth.
Town meetings and caucuses often show the tendency of groups to follow particular individuals or to reflect a public conversation rather than each person's private information.
The decision-making process of public voting demands more of the individual and thus draws in a much smaller and more committed electorate.
There are two methods that can lead to different results.
Hillary Clinton won almost all of the states that held primary elections, while the campaign of her opponent, the Vermont Senator, won most of the states that held caucuses.
The state of Texas holds both primary elections and caucuses, and the results of the Texas primaries were not as good as those in the Texas caucuses.
Some Americans voted in public meetings, while others presented the names of all the candidates who were voted on paper ballots by the political parties or slates of candidates.
The ballots were printed on different colored paper so that voters could easily distinguish them from each other.
Voters couldn't choose candidates from different parties for different offices, so they had to vote for the party line.
In the 10 year period 1885-95, almost every state adopted the Australian ballot and secret ballot.
Administrative reform in the United States led to a new form of voting.
Elections became an administrative task of government rather than a political activity when county governments took on the job of printing ballots.
State governments were trying to break the hold of local political organizations.
The Australian form of the ballot makes it difficult to observe who votes for which party.
Voters could choose any candidate for any office, breaking the hold of parties over the vote.
The introduction of the Australian ballot gave rise to the phenomenon of split-ticket voting, in which some voters select candidates from different parties for different offices.
Under the party ballot, voters couldn't choose particular candidates without voting for all the candidates nominated by the party or slate.
One party's nominee for president and another party's nominee for the House of Representatives could not be chosen by voters.
A desire for change could only be achieved by voting against the candidates of the party in power.
When the electorate voted to oust those in power at the national level, the opposing party or slate at state and local levels would sweep into office as well.
In the United States before 1896, elections were highly partisan and often resulted in wholesale changes in control of government.
The Australian ballot allows voters to judge the performance of individual officeholders and of the political parties as a whole.
The rise of personal voting as well as the possibility of split-ticket voting has led to more divided control of government.
In the United States, elected officials represent both places and people.
The president, representatives, senators, governors, and many other state and local officials are elected through electoral districts.
The states are in the Senate.
Senate districts have multiple members.
The District of Columbia has three electors.
Each state chooses its electors in a statewide vote, and the states are the districts.
Within president and vice president of the United States, the electors commit for the election of the to cast their votes for a certain candidate.
Every four years, voters in each state and 15 in the state legislature are exceptions.
In either the state house of representatives or the state senate, multimember districts are used.
If there are two seats the president and vice president in a district, the top vote getters win the seats, as in both chambers in Vermont and president.
In Arizona, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, and West Virginia, the candidate received a majority.
In some cases where there are multiple posts for each district, the top vote getter for a given post wins that seat, as in the lower chambers in Idaho and Maryland.
Maine and Nebraska choose the House and Senate electors in a statewide vote.
Some states choose delegates on a statewide basis, while other districts choose multiple delegates to the party convention.
The original design of the districts did not include single-member districts with equal populations.
It evolved from 1790 to 1970.
The Senate and House of Representatives were designed by the Constitution to represent the people, with the number of seats elected by each state based on the decennial census.
Each state would choose two senators to serve staggered six-year terms, with the Constitution specifying that the state legislature would choose the U.S. senators.
Direct election of senators was provided by the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913.
The Electoral College election of individual House mem bers was not mentioned in the Constitution.
The states used many different electoral systems to choose their House delegations.
State laws adopted single-member districts, in which the states divided their territory into as many districts as they had House seats, and each district elected one member.
Multimember districts were created in some states to have more than one legislator.
The population exceeded the number required for two or more districts, but the legislature did not want to draw district boundaries.
Some states elected all their House members in a single statewide election.
Congress tried to bring order to the election of House members with the 1842 Apportionment Act.
The act included an amendment from Representative John Campbell of South Carolina that required districts to be composed of contiguous territory.
Up to the 1960s, some states insisted on using at-large and multimember districts.
The use of single-member districts was not allowed in the 1967.
The nature of U.S. political districts changed at that time.
The very definition of democracy today is a simple aphorism, but before 1962 state legislative districts often had highly unequal populations, which meant that some votes counted more than others.
Even though Los Angeles had more people, it was elected as many seats as Alpine County.
Voters in Alpine County had 500 times the representation of voters in Los Angeles County.
In every state legislature, there was a pattern of overrepresentation of rural areas and underrepresentation of urban areas.
In most states, the inequalities arose from neglect.
As urban populations grew in the first half of the 20th century, those in power realized that they could lose reelection.
The legislature chose not to do anything.
There was no way to force the state legislatures to act when representation in the United States became more equal.
In a series of important cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection under the law was violated.
By 1971, the populations of the districts for each legislative chamber were the same.
By now, single-member districts with equal populations have become the rule in the United States.
The Senate is not equal because of the apportionment of seats to states.
California's 40 million people have the same number of senators as Wyoming's 600,000.
The allocation of Electoral College votes creates a population inequity in presidential elections, with larger states selecting fewer electors per capita than smaller states.
In the 1960s, the Supreme Court decided that the Senate and the Electoral College had equal district populations because the representation of states in the Senate was specified in the Constitution.
The politics of the Constitutional Convention, which consisted of delegations of states, each of which held equal numbers of votes, is the reason.
To create a House of Representatives that reflects the population's preferences, the large states had to strike a deal with the smaller states, which stood to lose representation with the initial plan of a single chamber that reflected population.
The use of districts to select representatives is a feature of elections for the House and for state and local offices.
All elections in the United States and all elected officials are tied to geographically based constituencies.
It's true for the House and Senate.
In presidential elections, candidates focus on winning key states in the Electoral College rather than winning a majority of the popular vote.
The power of the majority is magnified by the use of electoral districts.
In a system like ours with two parties and single-member districts, the party that wins a majority of the vote nationwide tends to win a disproportionate share of seats.
Democrats won 51 percent of the two-party vote for the U.S. House, but only 53 percent of the seats.
When the election is a tie, the parties win equal shares of the vote, and for every 1 percent of the vote above 50 percent a party gains an additional 2 percent of the seats.
Over the last 60 years, this pattern has been observed on U.S. House elections.
The GOP won 54 percent of the seats in the House in 2012 despite finishing in a virtual tie for popular votes.
The Republican advantage in the redrawing of district boundaries was one of the reasons for the anomaly.
The popular vote can be turned on its head by the Electoral College.
Donald Trump won the popular vote but lost the electoral votes.
The tendency toward majority rule is created by electoral districts.
The magnifying effect has caused problems for minority groups.
Just as districts increase the number of seats won by the majority party, they decrease the representation of small parties.
Unless the support for that party is concentrated in a particular geographic area, it will be hard for it to win seats or Electoral College delegates if it wins 5 percent of the vote nationwide.
The Reform Party was the most successful third party.
Nineteen percent of the presidential vote was won by Perot, but no Electoral College delegates.
It is difficult for racial minorities to gain representation because of the majoritarian tendency of districts.
Roughly 25% of the population are black and Latino.
It is unlikely for a sufficiently large segment of blacks or Hispanics to be elected to the legislature because districts without regard to race would spread the minority vote across many districts.
Congress amended the Voting Rights Act in 1982 to create legislative districts with sufficient numbers of black and Hispanic voters to represent those groups in the House.
The Voting Rights Act has been renewed multiple times and has withstood legal challenges, despite the fact that blacks and Latinos made up only 18 percent of the 115th Congress.
State legislative districts are not static.
They must be changed every decade to ensure equal population representation.
In most states, the responsibility for drawing new district boundaries rests with the state legislature and the governors, with the supervision of the courts and sometimes with the consultation of the commission.
States' official population figures and population counts are updated every 10 years by the U.S. census.
The politicians and others with a stake in the outcome use the census data to craft a new district map and the legislature must pass a law defining new districts.
The legislature is forced to do this job by the courts.
Although it corrects one problem, periodic redistricting invites another.
The election of a majority of seats for one party or interest group may be manipulated by those in charge.
It's easy to draw an electoral map that's unfair because of the sophisticated software and data on local voting patterns that's available today.
The Census Bureau divides the nation's political parties.
There are over 600,000 people in the U.S. House districts.
Legislative districts are created by combining various local areas and census blocks.
To maximize the number of seats won for a given division of the vote, those seeking political advantage try to make as many districts as possible that contain a majority of their own voters.
The district populations must be equal and all parts of the district must be contiguous.
The number of possible maps that could be drawn for any one state's legislative districts is very large.
Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act was struck down by the Supreme Court.
The prohibition against intentional discrimination was not affected.
The U.S. Census Bureau has a Geographic Areas Reference Manual.
Some states gain seats and some lose seats.
Party strategists look at census findings, seatgains and losses, and voting data to try to develop state-by-state districting formulas that will help their party.
Recent court decisions are examined by strategists.
State legislatures and legislativecommissions hold hearings to develop rules and procedures.
New district boundaries have been drawn.
The bill was sent to the governor.
The governor can accept or veto.
The final decision is made by state and federal courts.
The parties are planning for the next round.
Political scientists look at fairness by looking at the features of a districting plan.
Measures are used in assessing districting plans.
The notion of bias is important.
Both parties would get half of the seats.
Political scientists use simulation to gauge the magnitude of bias in hypothetical elections among a state's electorate under a districting plan.
When the two parties split the vote evenly, one party wins 55 percent of the seats and the other 45 percent.
Experts assess the bias in the plans with each round of districting.
Those who want fair elections will try to be objective.
Those who want to gain the upper hand try to inject bias into elections with a map.
Patterns in the bias of electoral districts have been documented.
There is evidence of partisan bias in the maps.
The bias in the average state legislative district map was 5 points in the 1990s and the first two decades of the 2000s.
State legislatures have been forced to create districting plans that treat both parties fairly since the 1960s.
The bias is the largest in states where one party controls both chambers of the legislature and the governor's office, and the legislature can create a map biased toward that party, and the governor will likely sign it.
One of the benefits of divided party control of the legislature and the executive is that the legislature can face a veto from the governor.
It's possible for politicians to use gerrymander to diminish the strength of a group.
Consider people of color.
Redrawing congressional district boundaries is one of the most common strategies used to split a black population from the original district.
During the 1960s and 1970s, this form of gerrymandering was used to prevent black candidates from being elected to Congress.
The state's black population was located along the Mississippi River Delta.
The Delta had one congressional district with a clear majority of blacks, but discrimination in voter registration and at the polls ensured the continued election of white congressmen.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, which this district was a part, would most likely have gone to a black candidate.
To prevent that, the Mississippi legislature drew new House districts that split the black population into three separate districts.
Mike Espy became the first African American since Reconstruction to represent Mississippi in Congress when he was elected in 1987.
Legislative involvement in drawing their own districts has raised concerns about the fairness of the process.
It has proved difficult to find a satisfactory reform for the process of drawing the maps.
New developments in geographic information systems and provision of census data allow anyone to draw credible district maps.
It is hoped that opening up the process will reduce the effect of gerrymandering.
The fourth feature of U.S. electoral law is the criterion for winning.
A type of electoral candidates for a seat and divide the vote so that one wins 34 percent and the system in which victory goes to the individual other two each receive 33 percent of the vote.
Even though he did not win a majority of votes, the can who got the most votes won the seat even if he did not win a majority.
There are different types of systems.
Most states use a plurality system in which the candidate who gets the most votes wins all of the delegates.
Louisiana and Georgia require a candidate to get at least 50 percent of the votes to win.
A type of electoral uses plurality- and majority-rule criteria.
To win an office, a candidate must have multimember districts.
The seats are won by the top vote getters.
Seven candidates who win the most votes each win a seat if there is a majority of seven seats to fill.
The votes for the losing candidates seem to be wasted.
Many systems for voting and determining electoral outcomes have been created over the centuries.
It is possible that a majority of voters wanted someone other than the winner in the three-candidate race.
The plurality rule with singlemember districts inflates the share of seats won by the largest party and deflates the others' shares.
Great Britain has a striking example.
The Labour Party placed second with 30 percent of the vote and 36 percent of seats, while the British Conservative Party won 37 percent of the vote and 51 percent of seats.
Three other parties got different amounts of votes and seats.
The UK Independence Party got 13 percent of the vote, but only 1 seat in the House of Commons.
Voters can choose to represent them personally, not just political parties, and it picks a winner without the need for run-off elections.
A multiple-member legislature divides the vote into two parts, with one winning 34 percent of the vote and the other getting 33 percent of the vote, the first party gets 34 percent of the seats, and political parties get 33 percent of the seats.
Each party won the most votes.
Jesse Jackson won 20 percent of the vote in the primaries, but only 5 percent of the delegates.
Jackson worked with other party leaders to change the delegate allocation rules so that delegates from congressional districts would be assigned on a proportional basis.
If a district elects five delegates, a candidate wins a delegate if he or she gets at least 20 percent of the vote in the district, two delegates if the candidate gets at least 40 percent of the vote, and so on.
The Democratic Party used to give all delegates from a given congressional district to the candidate who won the most votes.
Any districted system with a plurality rule has a strong majoritarian tendency.
There is a consequence to the rule of plurality in single-member districts.
It's the reason for two-party politics in the United States.
There are far fewer political parties in countries with plurality rule.
Under plurality rule, elections usually boil down to two major parties competing for power, with one of them winning a majority of legislative seats.
There are more than two parties in proportional representation systems.
The majority of seats are won by a single party.
Governments are coalitions of many different parties.
Duverger's law of politics is simple: plurality rule creates two-party politics; proportional representation encourages more than two parties.
How politicians think about forming a new party is the first thing to consider.
There are two parties, a center-right party and a center- left party.
The parties do not represent the ideals Duverger, who is a Maurice politician from the far right.
She wants a far-right policy, a center-right policy less, and a plurality-rule electoral policy.
She can leave the center-right systems and form a far-right party.
The center- left party is aided by two political parties.
Under plurality rule, the center-left party would almost certainly win, an outcome that the far-right politician doesn't like very much.
Politicians on the extremes cannot form a new party.
A centrist can't win the election if the center-right and center- left parties are too extreme.
The center-right party would win the votes of both the right and the left.
The same goes for the center- left party.
A potential centrist party would only have a small segment of true centrists.
If the current parties are not too extreme, there is no incentive for a third party to enter a two-party system.
Voters follow the same logic.
They don't want to waste their votes.
If vot ers know that the candidate cannot win, they will vote for the more moderate alternative.
The moderate has a better chance of winning than the extremists.
In order to have a better chance of selecting a candidate more to their liking, the extremists choose the moderate party or candidate.
Extremist parties don't have much incentive to enter a race, and when they do they don't attract much votes.
In the 2012 Republican primary, Romney was more moderate than the other Republican candidates.
Romney won the nomination because he was the strongest of the moderate candidates and because many Republicans understood that he was their best chance in the general election.
It can be difficult to coordinate around a single candidate when there are many moderate candidates.
The incentive for more par ties and candidates to enter is created by the fact that they will win seats in proportion to their support among the national electorate.
There are many parties in a PR system, none of which represent a majority.
No one party can win enough seats to form a government in such systems.
The shortening of the nominating season is caused by proportional representation in the Democratic Party.
A plurality of 40 percent of the vote in a state's Democratic primary is enough for a candidate to win 40 percent of the delegates.
It takes many more victories in the Democratic primaries to get enough delegates to lock up the nomination.
Hillary Clinton won the vote but the delegates were split fairly evenly.
The final day of the primaries was when the election contest was decided.
The primary elections are usually decided more quickly when there are many candidates.
By the end of the primary season, Donald Trump had won less than half of the votes, but more than half of the delegates.
CNN declared Trump the GOP's presumptive nominee at the beginning of May.
What it takes to win a seat and how votes are cast and counted have consequences for American politics.
Strong pressures toward two-party politics and majority rule in the legislature are created by plurality rule with single-member districts.
Twenty-four states give for referendum voting.
There are two ways in which a direct vote by the Referendums could happen.
Some state constitutions require that certain types of legislation, such as bonds or property tax law that has been passed increases, be approved by popular vote.
The legislature can put a measure on the ballot if enough signatures are obtained from registered voters.
Voters in several states have voted to set limits on tax rates, block state and local spending proposals, define marriage, and prohibit social services for illegal immigrants.
A referendum is not an election.
Voters choose officials to act for them in the election.
The referendum process is an example of direct democracy, as it allows voters to govern directly without government intervention.
The results of the referendum are subject to judicial action.
It is possible for a court to overturn the result of a referendum.
The federal district court ruled that the proposition was unconstitutional.
Issues can be placed on the ballot besides the referendum.
Twenty-four states allow various forms of the initiative.
The electorate can be petitioned to approve or reject a state constitutional amendment.
To get on the ballot, a petition must be accompanied by a policy proposal that has been certified by the state's secretary of state.