Running head: Political participation in Tennessee
Elections in Tennessee
Tennessee is a USA state that joined the union of America in 1796. It was formed after an outbreak in civil war in 1861.According to (Lovett 232), political participation in presidential election occurred 1st in 1832, whereby all the votes were cast to Ulysses S. Grant. This was as a result of segregation of most blacks and poor whites, hence reduction in party competitions and undemocratic win.
However, voter participation has grown adversely in the recent years. In 1979, the number of people who were registered to vote in Tennessee, was whites(174595) and blacks(37126). This was in favor of Williams , who was aspiring to retain the seat and supported the bill by senator john ford to ensure a fair election ,(Lovett 311). In 1982 reelection, blacks from Shelby and Memphis county gave the democratic candidates a high percentage of 89 and 84 respectively. In addition to that, blacks recorded 98 percent vote to sail through senator Jim Sasser. The turnout of the voters was recorded at 63 percent white and 61 percent black , this electoral data is to be convenient in future for political strategies.
The main issue which resulted to limitation of participation in elections was slavery. According to (Lovett 230), in 1856 James Buchanan won the elections. This resulted in victimization of negroes in Nashville and hence most blacks were accused and jailed and some were hanged. Morever, most blacks and the poor whites were denied the right to vote due to the introduction of tax polls, which was quite expensive. However, most slaves were liberated in 1856 through armed insurrection by abolitionist John Brown. This later resulted in blacks renewing their political participation in 1862. More change came by, as federal forces which consisted 20,133 soldiers claimed citizenship. In 1864 more reforms were made, has negro leaders held political rallies. The National Equal Rights League was formed which later resulted to abolishment of slavery in March 1865 , (Lovett 231) .
Various laws and restrictions have passed at the state of Tennessee recently. This include voters to show ID, and photo ID in polling stations. In addition to that the state of Tennessee introduced the proof of citizenship law. Voters were to show their birth certificates at time of registration. However, this applies to non-citizens in Tennessee. Tennessee is among the states that allow early voting for eligible voters. Early voting is whereby a person goes to an election office and votes and gives a*n excuse why he should not vote on the election date. This occurs during the early period or when a voter request an absentee ballot.
Socio economic status has affected voter turnout in the recent time. This include finances majorly. Comparison to other states has shown that most registered voters may fail to vote due to their lifestyle habits.
Voter turnout in Texas and Tennessee is poor, (Jillson 62). It is the turnout of voting age population in a given election. Texas has recorded the lowest turn outs in the recent past. Morever they record fifty percent in voter turnout in presidential elections. According to ( Jillson 62), in the recent elections texas recorded a turnout of thirty one percent and Tennessee thirty six percent.
The participation of Tennessee in the past has been high compared to recent times , although it has been met with different constraints presidents in future elections should use the political strategies that was there in Tennessee in the past to improve their election results.
Cal Jillson , Texas Politics 4th Edition: Governing the Lone State. Page- 62 .
Bobby, L. Lovett. The Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee: A Narrative History. Page – 230, 231 & 311 .
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