Making My Vote Count! - Florida Supreme Court
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Testing your knowledge about Florida Government, civics and elections.
Name That Amendment
Branches of Government
Which of the following are responsibilities of American citizens? a. b. c.
Register to vote. Educate themselves about candidates and issues that will be on the ballot. Learn the rules for voting in their stateearly voting, absentee voting, voting at the polls. all of the above
Voting is a shared right and responsibility between American citizens and the government. The government establishes and protects our voting rights and it is each voters responsibility to be informed and educated about voting processes and elections.
Florida voters have a lot of responsibility – they have the final say on many offices and issues. Which of the following are things they DON’T have any say in? governor and cabinet members U.S. Senators & representatives; state senators & representatives county commissioners, school board members, trial judges proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution cafeteria menus, TV schedules, school calendars, weather conditions
But, voter’s voices are needed in a very broad range of elections. Most national and state officials are put in office by the voters.
Staying informed about current issues helps voters decide which candidate they believe in most for all kinds of jobs from U.S. Senators to trial judges in your county’s courthouse.
Several Amendments to the U.S. Constitution extend the right to vote to more people. With the 26th Amendment, ratified almost 40 years ago, the voting age was lowered: a. b. c. d.
From From From From
25 21 18 17
to to to to
21 18 17 13
The 26th Amendment was ratified during the time of the Vietnam War. The draft required many eighteen year olds to enlist in the military and fight in the war even though they weren’t eligible to vote- since the minimum voting age was 21. After a successful campaign by young adults, the amendment was ratified in only four months.
The 15th Amendment broke down racial barriers to voting, which group of people was granted voting rights with this amendment? a. b. c.
Immigrants Catholics and Jews African American men Soldiers
After the 14th Amendment made freed slaves official citizens, the 15th Amendment guaranteed all men the right to vote regardless of their race, color, or history of slavery. Even though the amendment intended to create more equality, many states found ways to prevent African Americans from voting through poll taxes and literacy tests.
a. b. c. d.
Voting rights were officially extended to women when the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920. Why was this amendment significant? Until then women had very little voice in government. Before this amendment, voting rights of women were left up to the states. Woman had felt they deserved equal rights as men for many years. All of the above.
For many decades women were actively campaigning for the right to vote. Some states allowed women to vote in state and local elections. But, women wanted full equality- the same voting rights as men. They decided to fight for a constitutional amendment.
The original Voting Rights Act of 1965 followed the ratification of the 24th Amendment, which ended discriminatory poll taxes. In which way did the Voting Rights Act expand the 24th Amendment? a. b. c. d.
The VRA outlawed any tactic used to keep minorities from voting. It required states to offer ballots in multiple languages. It allowed non-citizens living in the U.S. to vote. It allowed people under the age of 18 to vote with parental consent.
This law guarantees the right to vote to all racial, ethnic, or language minority citizens. The legislation forbids any discriminatory practices that may prevent fair opportunities for voters to participate in elections.
Before the 15th Amendment was added to our constitution in 1870 to outlaw voting discrimination based on race or color, who was allowed to vote? a. b. c. d.
White males Native Americans White males and females who owned property Everyone over the age of 21
Before the 15th Amendment only adult white males were guaranteed the right to vote and many states had restrictions that required them to own property as well. Ratified just after the Civil War, the 15th Amendment extended voting rights to all men of any race or color.
How did the Helping America Vote Act contribute to making elections fairer? a.
It required high schools to offer courses in voting registration It required voting machines allow voters to double-check their choices before submitting their ballot. It required state governments to pay for transportation to the polls on Election Day. There is no such thing as the Helping America Vote Act
After the confusion over ballots in the 2000 election, The Helping America Vote Act allowed voters a chance to double check their ballots for accuracy before submitting them. This helps to ensure that all votes are counted accurately.
In Florida, the three branches of government are: a. b. c. d.
Governor, Chief Justice, Speaker of the House Cabinet, Judicial, Legislative Legislative, Executive, Judicial Department of Revenue, Visit Florida, County Courts.
The three branches of Florida (and national) government are Legislative: writes laws o Executive: enforces laws o Judicial: interprets laws o
Which branch of government has the authority to overturn results in a disputed election? a. b. c. d.
Executive Judicial Legislative Division of Elections
The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court in Florida. Almost a century ago, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the primary results in a disputed governor’s race.
This led to the election of Florida’s only third party governor to win office. Sidney Catts became the 22nd governor of Florida in 1916.
The Florida Secretary of State is responsible for certifying election results. Which branch of government is this office a part of? a. b. c. d.
Executive Judicial The Press Legislative
The Secretary of State is appointed by the governor. This official is the chief officer of elections, cultural affairs, historical resources, the Florida State Seal, and corporate records.
Florida election results were a part of the controversy during the disputed Presidential Election of 1876. The U.S. Congress formed a 15-member Electoral Commission to settle the results. The U.S. Congress is which branch of government? a. b. c. d.
Executive Electoral College Judicial Legislative
Congress is divided into The Senate and The House of Representatives. When Congress settled the Presidential dispute in 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes defeated Samuel Tilden.
Rutherford B. Hayes
Samuel J. Tilden
In the early 1900s, the Florida Legislature used this tax to discourage African Americans from voting: a. b. c. d.
Sales Tax Service Tax Poll Tax Electoral College Tax
Florida was one of 11 southern states that once charged poll taxes. By making voters pay a tax at voting time, many minorities who could not afford the tax chose to not vote instead of paying.
In 1964, the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified and outlawed the use of poll taxes. Removing the poll tax made sure everyone could vote no matter how much money they had.
Candidates for president usually win when they get the most votes- but not always. This is because our nation’s founders established a unique method of electing the president. This method is called: a. Direct Vote b. Primary Election c. Run-off Election d. Electoral College
In the Electoral College, each state sends a panel of electors to cast votes for a presidential candidate based on the results from their state. Electoral votes are distributed to states based on their population. As the fourth most populated state, Florida has 27 electoral votes.
In election 2000, the many different types of ballots caused voting problems. The most controversial ballot was used in Palm Beach County and was called: a. b. c. d.
The The The The
butterfly ballot write-in ballot absentee ballot optical scan
The Butterfly Ballot used in Palm Beach County was criticized for being confusing and difficult to use.
The voting method led to many voters accidentally selecting more than one candidate, making those ballots invalid.
How many states must approve a proposed amendment for it to be added to the United States Constitution? a. b. c. d.
Three-Fourths Two-Thirds Half All
In order to amend the U.S. Constitution, the Constitution requires that a three-fourths majority of states must ratify the amendment.
In 1982, the proposed Equal Rights Amendment was killed partially due to being voted down in the Florida Senate shortly before its deadline. The amendment would have guaranteed equal rights to all citizens regardless of sex.
The Florida Constitution establishes what types of courts? a. b. c. d.
City and State Judge Judy and Law & Order Trial and Appellate All of the above
The Florida Constitution establishes two types of courts: trial and appellate. Most cases begin in trial courts, where guilt or innocence is determined; or disputes between people are settled.
Appellate courts make sure that everything that happened in the trial court was fair.
Which of the following is not found in a trial courtroom? a. A jury b. Witnesses c. Justices d. Court Reporters
“Justice” is the title used for judges who serve at the Supreme Court level, which is the highest appellate court. In trial courts, a judge presides over the courtroom.
How many justices serve on the Florida Supreme Court? a. b. c. d.
5 7 9 3
Maintaining an odd number of justices, such as 7, ensures that votes will not result in a tie.
Justices of the Florida Supreme Court
What happens when there is a vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court? a. b. c. d.
The governor appoints a new justice. The people of Florida vote for a new justice. The current Supreme Court justices select the new justice. The president selects the new justice but the state legislature gets to approve them
When an opening appears on the Supreme Court, the governor fills the vacancy from a list of 3-6 candidates. These candidates are selected and reviewed by a special committee of citizens called the Judicial Nominating Commission.
Why is there no jury during oral arguments? a. b. c. d.
Juries read the case beforehand so they don’t have to attend. The jury hears the case and arguments separately from the Justices. There is a jury during oral arguments. Since the trial has already happened, a jury has already made a decision on the case.
Juries only appear in trial courts when an original decision on a case is made. Cases come to the Supreme Court or other appellate courts to ask judges to reconsider something about the trial that may have gone wrong or been unfair- not to decide guilt or innocence.
What does Judicial Independence mean? a. b. c.
Judges must interpret laws and the constitution how a governor or president wants them to. Judges must use their best judgment based on the law and the facts of the case. Judges must pay attention to popular opinion and if most people agree about something, judges must rule that way. Judges can do whatever they want
Judges are required to make decisions based on the facts of the case and the law. This way, cases are resolved without favoritism or unfairness. This is called the rule of law.
What does “Interpret” mean? a.
b. c. d.
To explain To tell the meaning of something To clarify All of the above
To interpret means to find the meaning of something and then explain it. Some laws are clear but others are more complicated and people disagree on what the laws mean. Then a judge or justice is needed to explain the meaning of the law.
When judges interpret the law, which is more important than the other?
Statutes (Laws passed by legislatures) or Constitutions (U.S. & State)
Constitutions outline what governments can and cannot do. A constitution can be changed only by voters, so it is important that all laws or statutes follow the U.S. and state constitutions.