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Ch 6: AP US Government and Politics: Voting and Elections

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons and learn about the election and voting processes in the U.S. The quizzes that follow each lesson are intended to help you assess your comprehension of the materials.

AP U.S. Government and Politics: Voting and Elections - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Voting and elections are a key part of U.S. government and politics. While many Americans participate in the voting and election process, there are many reasons why other Americans don't. Voter turnout can vary by type of election; there are also numerous other factors that can influence voters, including candidates themselves, who are chosen to fill their party's ticket for a variety of reasons. In this chapter learn more about how the process of elections and campaigning has changed over the years and find out why campaign finance reform is a commonly discussed issue. After watching these video lessons, you'll be familiar with:

  • How elections are carried out
  • How elections differ by type and level
  • What factors affect voter participation
  • How political parties choose their candidates

Video Objective
Voting: Costs and Benefits Describe the perceived pros and cons of voting.
Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout Discuss what affects political participation in the U.S., with special attention paid to voter turnout - from how it compares to other democracies to why it's declining.
Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types List ways other than voting by which Americans can participate in politics; discuss campaigning, political meetings and contacting government officials.
Mechanisms for Increased Voting & the Progressive Movement Discuss the 20th century's Progressive movement and direct participation in politics, such as direct primary, recall, referendum and initiative.
The Electoral College: Definition & Process Define the electoral college; explain how it works.
Types of Elections: Primary, General & Special List types of elections and describe how they're carried out; discuss open, closed, blanket and run-off primaries, general elections and special elections.
Partisanship in Elections Discuss partisanship in elections; describe critical elections and learn about maintaining, deviating, realigning and dealigning elections.
Campaign Finance: Sources, Regulations & Reform Discuss how campaigns are financed; outline campaign finance rules and regulations as well as arguments for reform.
What Factors Influence the Outcome of an Election? Explain what influences election results; discuss party identification, issues and campaign strategies.
Nominating a Presidential Candidate: The Process & Its Strengths & Weaknesses Describe the process by which presidential candidates earn party nominations; discuss the pros and cons of this process.
Primary Election Versus General Election: Definition & Differences Define primary and general elections; compare and contrast the two.
The Evolution of the Contemporary Presidential Election Describe presidential elections as they're currently carried out; trace how they've changed from earlier times until now.
Factors that Influence Voters During Presidential Elections Describe how factors like issues, party identification and candidates influence presidential election voters.
Party Nomination to Congress: Process to Become a Candidate State the minimum requirements to become a congressional candidate; explain the process by which one can earn a party nomination.
Incumbency in Contemporary House & Senate Elections: Definition & Advantages Evaluate the role incumbency plays in congressional elections, and explain why it's typically an advantage.
National Forces that Influence Congressional Elections Outline the national factors that affect congressional elections, such as the economy or presidential approval ratings.
Presidential vs. Congressional Campaigns: Similarities & Differences Compare and contrast presidential and congressional campaigns.

18 Lessons in Chapter 6: AP US Government and Politics: Voting and Elections
Voting: Costs and Benefits

1. Voting: Costs and Benefits

In a country as large as the United States, it's highly unlikely that one person's vote will decide the outcome of a presidential election. Does this mean the costs of voting outweigh the benefits? This lesson explores this question.

Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout

2. Political Participation in the United States: Influences & Voter Turnout

Despite an increase in the number of eligible voters, political participation in the United States seems to be on the decline. This lesson discusses influences on political participation and voter turnout.

Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types

3. Alternative Forms of Political Participation: Role & Types

Americans participate in government by voting, but they also participate in many other ways. This lesson discusses the role alternative forms of political participation play in our political involvement.

The Progressive Movement & Mechanisms for Increased Political Participation

4. The Progressive Movement & Mechanisms for Increased Political Participation

The Progressive Movement marked an era of political activism. Reformers sought to strengthen democracy, eliminate corruption and protect laborers. This lesson explains the movement and how it increased political participation.

The Electoral College: Definition & Process

5. The Electoral College: Definition & Process

In the U.S., our presidential elections are decided using the Electoral College. The system is meant to balance election power between the federal and state governments. This lesson explains what the Electoral College is and how it works.

Types of Elections: Primary, General & Special

6. Types of Elections: Primary, General & Special

The process of electing a political candidate can involve several different types of elections. This lesson describes the different types of primary elections and explains both general and special elections.

Partisanship in U.S. Elections

7. Partisanship in U.S. Elections

Partisanship can create several different types of election results. This lesson explores partisan election results, including realigning elections, maintaining elections, deviating elections and reinstating elections.

Campaign Finance: Sources, Regulations & Reform

8. Campaign Finance: Sources, Regulations & Reform

Modern presidential campaigns often last up to two years and involve extensive media operations. This means a successful campaign will be expensive. This lesson discusses campaign finance, including sources, regulations, and reform efforts.

What Factors Influence the Outcome of an Election?

9. What Factors Influence the Outcome of an Election?

In this lesson, we will learn about several important factors that influence the outcome of an election. We will look in-depth at these factors and why they are important in the outcome of an election.

Nominating a Presidential Candidate: The Process & Its Strengths & Weaknesses

10. Nominating a Presidential Candidate: The Process & Its Strengths & Weaknesses

The nomination process for United States president contains several different steps. This lesson outlines the modern nomination process for the offices of president and vice president and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the process.

Primary Election Versus General Election: Definition & Differences

11. Primary Election Versus General Election: Definition & Differences

In the United States, we use two different types of presidential elections. Both primary and general elections are used to determine a winning candidate. This lesson explains primary and general elections, including the differences between the two.

The Evolution of the Contemporary Presidential Election

12. The Evolution of the Contemporary Presidential Election

Presidential elections have changed a great deal over time. These days, elections are well-publicized and hard-fought. This lesson takes a look at contemporary presidential elections and campaigns.

Factors that Influence Voters During Presidential Elections

13. Factors that Influence Voters During Presidential Elections

Many factors influence voters during presidential elections. The voter's background, party identification and view of the government's past performance are some of the important influences. This lesson examines influences on voter behavior.

Party Nomination to Congress: Process to Become a Candidate

14. Party Nomination to Congress: Process to Become a Candidate

In this lesson, we will review the process to become a candidate for Congress. We will take a closer look at what the requirements are and what process is to be taken leading up to the election.

Incumbency in Contemporary House & Senate Elections: Definition & Advantages

15. Incumbency in Contemporary House & Senate Elections: Definition & Advantages

In this lesson, we will review the importance of incumbency in congressional elections. We will take a closer look at the factors that make it an advantage and what they mean to the outcome of an election.

National Forces that Influence Congressional Elections

16. National Forces that Influence Congressional Elections

In this lesson, we will learn about the biggest national forces that influence congressional elections, taking a look at how they affect the election results and how the public is influenced by them.

Presidential vs. Congressional Campaigns: Similarities & Differences

17. Presidential vs. Congressional Campaigns: Similarities & Differences

In this lesson, we will review the difference between presidential and congressional campaigns. We will take a closer look at their differences and how they affect the campaign.

Reapportionment & Redistricting for Congressional Constituencies: Definition & Process

18. Reapportionment & Redistricting for Congressional Constituencies: Definition & Process

In this lesson, we will review the constitutional requirements for determining congressional districts. We will take a closer look at the process and effects of reapportionment and redistricting.

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