Voting & Elections Quiz

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Question 1
Which of the following means “having the right to vote”?

A
Suffrage
B
Election
C
Ballot
D
Equality
Question 1 Explanation: 
Suffrage is crucial to a functioning democracy. Many groups throughout American history fought to gain the right to vote and have their voices counted in political elections.
Question 2
Which of the following groups was the last to gain suffrage in the United States of America?

A
African Americans
B
Women
C
18-to-20-year-olds
D
Native Americans
Question 2 Explanation: 
In 1971, the voting age was reduced to 18 from 21 by the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.
Question 3
Which of the following is a requirement for casting a ballot in all fifty states?

A
Voters must show a valid form of photo I.D. at their polling place
B
Voters must register to vote before the election day
C
Voters must demonstrate a basic understanding of the candidates’ positions
D
None of the above
Question 3 Explanation: 
While most states require voter registration before the election day, 5 states allow same-day registration and North Dakota doesn't require voters to register at all. Currently, 33 states enforce voter identification requirements. There is no requirement in any state that voters demonstrate knowledge of the candidates or their positions.
Question 4
How does the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) affect the voter registration process?

A
It makes it more difficult for people to register to vote.
B
It requires all American citizens to register to vote.
C
It allows people to register to vote as a part of the driver’s license renewal process.
D
It automatically registers Americans to vote as part of the federal income tax filing process.
Question 4 Explanation: 
The “Motor Voter” law, as it is sometimes called, was passed in 1993 to make voter registration more convenient. The NVRA requires states to offer voter registration when citizens apply for or renew a driver’s license. This same law also offers voter registration through the application for public assistance programs. In each of these cases, citizens must provide sufficient proof of identification to meet voter registration standards.
Question 5
What is the purpose of a primary election?

A
To choose a single candidate to represent a political party in an upcoming general election
B
To promote voter turnout
C
To help first-time voters learn how to cast a ballot
D
To decide if a general election is necessary
Question 5 Explanation: 
Primary elections narrow a field of candidates down to a single individual that will represent a political party in a general election.
Question 6
What is the difference between a “closed” and an “open” primary election?

A
Everyone can vote in a closed primary election, regardless of their political affiliations.
B
Only a very small number of voters are formally invited to vote in a closed primary.
C
Only registered members of the political party may vote in the party’s closed primary election.
D
The results of closed primaries have no consequences.
Question 6 Explanation: 
Closed primaries only allow registered members of a political party to vote for the nominee to represent their party. Open primaries allow any registered voter to participate, regardless of their political affiliations.
Question 7
In the United States, which type of election typically has the highest voter turnout?

A
Local
B
State
C
Congressional
D
Presidential
Question 7 Explanation: 
American voter turnout is lower than in other democratic nations. Presidential elections draw the most voters, whereas local government elections often have paltry participation.
Question 8
Which governmental bodies are responsible for both conducting and regulating federal elections?

A
State governments
B
Federal government
C
Federal Election Commission
D
Local mayors
Question 8 Explanation: 
While the Constitution spells out the process by which federal officials are elected, individual state governments are responsible for conducting elections at the local, state, and federal levels.
Question 9
Which policies have increased voter participation?

A
Same-day voter registration
B
Voting by mail
C
Early voting
D
All of the above
Question 9 Explanation: 
These three policies make it easier for citizens to vote by reducing barriers and expanding options. The additional voters are more likely to vote for Democrats, so the Democratic Party generally works to expand these initiatives while the Republican Party works to limit them.
Question 10
What is a responsibility of the Federal Election Commission (FEC)?

A
Track and disclose the finances of federal election campaigns
B
Establish the polling places for federal elections
C
Count the votes in federal elections
D
All of the above
Question 10 Explanation: 
The FEC’s primary duty is to enforce campaign finance laws. In an effort to ensure the FEC remains impartial and nonpartisan, the commission’s membership rules ensure that no political party can make up a majority of the six-member panel and that at least four votes are required to take any action.
Question 11
What is the purpose of campaign finance laws?

A
Limit how much money candidates and political parties spend on an election
B
Give challengers a better chance at defeating incumbents
C
Limit how much of their own money that a candidate can spend on their campaign
D
All of the above
Question 11 Explanation: 
Campaign finance laws place limits and disclosure requirements on campaign donations. These laws are meant to prevent corruption and restrict the influence of wealthy donors in the electoral process.

While some campaign finance laws could help challengers, they are often designed to protect incumbents. Incumbents are usually well known, able to get to a lot of free media exposure, and have taxpayer-funded offices and staffs. These advantages make them less dependent on donations than challengers. Campaign finance laws do not restrict personal expenditures that candidates make.
Question 12
How did Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission change how federal campaign funds are raised?

A
By allowing unlimited election spending from corporations, as long as they coordinate directly with a candidate.
B
By allowing unlimited election spending from corporations, as long as they do not coordinate directly with a candidate.
C
By allowing unlimited election spending from individuals, as long as they coordinate directly with a candidate.
D
None of the above
Question 12 Explanation: 
Citizens United opened the door for unlimited election spending by corporations. Most of this spending is done through groups known as Super PACs. These political action committees can raise funds from individuals, corporations, unions, and other groups without any legal limit on donation size. Super PACs are prohibited from coordinating directly with candidates or political parties
Question 13
Which term describes funds raised and spent by a political party to promote voter registration and participation?

A
Hard money
B
Undisclosed contributions
C
Soft money
D
Protected funds
Question 13 Explanation: 
Soft money refers to funds raised and used to shape voters’ opinions on issues; In other words, advertisements and campaign materials purchased with soft money must stop shy of endorsing a specific candidate. Soft money sidesteps much of the FEC regulations on traditional or “hard money” campaign contributions.
Question 14
What type of ballot asks voters to approve or reject a state or local law?

A
Recall election
B
Referendum
C
Special election
D
All of the above
Question 14 Explanation: 
A referendum allows citizens to directly participate in the law-making of their state or municipality by casting a ballot on a specific issue. Should a binding referendum pass, it becomes law.
Question 15
What is a recall election?

A
A method for reinstating a previously repealed law
B
A method for repealing a law
C
A method for removing an official from office
D
A method for re-electing an official
Question 15 Explanation: 
Recall elections allow citizens to remove government officials from their positions. While rules for recall elections vary by state, most require the submission of a petition with a set number of signatures as part of the process.
Question 16
What situation would necessitate a special election?

A
An official dies in office
B
An official is recalled
C
An official resigns
D
All of the above
Question 16 Explanation: 
States hold special elections when a vacancy occurs before a regularly scheduled election.
Question 17
When is Presidential Election Day?

A
Every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November
B
Every eight years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November
C
Every four years on the first day of Congress’ November session
D
Every eight years on the first day of Congress’ November session
Question 17 Explanation: 
Presidential elections are held every four years. Article II of the Constitution grants Congress the authority to set Election Day. Traditionally, this election is held on the first Tuesday after November 1, or the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
Question 18
When you vote for a presidential candidate you are actually voting for the candidate’s:

A
Electors
B
Political Party
C
Platform
D
Caucus
Question 18 Explanation: 
The Constitution established an indirect presidential election process through the creation of the Electoral College. Citizens vote in each state to choose a slate of "electors" who have pledged to vote for a particular presidential candidate. The candidate who receives a majority of electoral votes is elected president.
Question 19
What does “winning the popular vote” mean?

A
A candidate received more votes than his or her opponent(s)
B
A candidate received more media endorsements than his or her opponent(s)
C
A candidate received more Electoral College electors than his or her opponent(s)
D
A candidate received more than twice as many votes as any other candidate
Question 19 Explanation: 
Elections decided by popular vote elect the candidate who receives the most votes. Although the popular vote is an important statistic in American presidential elections, it does not determine the winner of the presidential race. Indeed, five presidents have been elected without winning the popular vote.
Question 20
What is the benefit of a “secret” ballot?

A
Counting votes is easier
B
Voting machines cannot attribute specific votes to individual voters
C
Voters can cast their ballots without fear of reprisal
D
All of the above
Question 20 Explanation: 
Secret ballots are crucial to free and fair elections. Without secret ballots, citizens are easily intimidated or outright abused to guarantee their vote.
Question 21
What does voting for a “straight ticket” mean?

A
The voter selected all the candidates of a specific party
B
The voter cast a paper ballot rather than using a voting machine
C
The voter cast an absentee ballot
D
The voter selected all the incumbents on the ballot
Question 21 Explanation: 
Voting for a straight ticket allows party loyalists to vote for those candidates who share their own political affiliations. Some voting machines even allow for the selection of a straight ticket with a single button press.
Question 22
How can the media report on election results prior before the final counts have been tallied?

A
Entry polling
B
Exit polling
C
Voter intimidation
D
Insider voting
Question 22 Explanation: 
As voters leave their polling places, political operatives and members of the media often ask voters how they voted. These results are used to predict the larger outcome of an election.
Question 23
How many Electoral College votes does a candidate need to win to gain the presidency?

A
551
B
538
C
270
D
There is no set number — a candidate must simply win the most
Question 23 Explanation: 
A presidential candidate must win a majority of the 538 possible Electoral College votes. If no candidate receives the required 270 votes, the United States Constitution requires that the House of Representatives select the president from the top three candidates in the Electoral College vote.
Question 24
How can a person under the age of 18 legally influence the outcome of an election?

A
Donate to a campaign
B
Canvass neighborhoods on behalf of a candidate
C
Volunteer at a local campaign office
D
All of the above
Question 24 Explanation: 
Voting is not the only way to affect the electoral process. The age limits placed on casting a ballot have no counterparts in campaigning.
Question 25
Which state traditionally hosts the first major electoral event in the presidential nomination process?

A
New Hampshire
B
Massachusetts
C
Iowa
D
Texas
Question 25 Explanation: 
The Iowa caucuses traditionally mark the beginning of the presidential nomination process. The Democratic and Republican parties handle the Iowa caucus voting differently, but each starts the race for the Presidential primary in Iowa.
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