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ballot fatigue
the result when a voter stops voting for offices and initiatives at the bottom of a long ballot
a form of candidate nomination that occurs in a town-hall style format rather than a day-long election; usually reserved for presidential elections
chronic minority
voters who belong to political parties that tend not to be competitive in national elections because they are too small to become a majority or because of the Electoral College system distribution in their state
closed primary
an election in which only voters registered with a party may vote for that party’s candidates
coattail effect
the result when a popular presidential candidate helps candidates from the same party win their own elections
party members who are chosen to represent a particular candidate at the party’s state- or national-level nominating convention
district system
the means by which electoral votes are divided between candidates based on who wins districts and/or the state
early voting
an accommodation that allows voting up to two weeks before Election Day
Electoral College
the constitutionally created group of individuals, chosen by the states, with the responsibility of formally selecting the next U.S. president
incumbency advantage
the advantage held by officeholders that allows them to often win reelection
the current holder of a political office
law or constitutional amendment proposed and passed by the voters and subject to review by the state courts; also called a proposition
midterm elections
the congressional elections that occur in the even-numbered years between presidential election years, in the middle of the president’s term
open primary
an election in which any registered voter may vote in any party’s primary or caucus
the set of issues important to the political party and the party delegates
political action committees (PACs)
organizations created to raise money for political campaigns and spend money to influence policy and politics
the removal of a politician or government official by the voters
a yes or no vote by citizens on a law or candidate proposed by the state government
residency requirement
the stipulation that citizen must live in a state for a determined period of time before a citizen can register to vote as a resident of that state
shadow campaign
a campaign run by political action committees and other organizations without the coordination of the candidate
straight-ticket voting
the practice of voting only for candidates from the same party
super PACs
officially known as Independent Expenditure-Only Committees; organizations that can fundraise and spend as they please to support or attack a candidate but not contribute directly to a candidate or strategize with a candidate’s campaign
top-two primary
a primary election in which the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party, become the nominees for the general election
voter fatigue
the result when voters grow tired of voting and stay home from the polls
voting-age population
the number of citizens over eighteen
voting-eligible population
the number of citizens eligible to vote
winner-take-all system
all electoral votes for a state are given to the candidate who wins the most votes in that state
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