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absentee ballot a ballot to be marked and delivered to an election official before election day because the voter will be unable to be at the polls on that day.
at-large election an election in which every voter can vote for candidates to fill any and all vacant positions in a representative body. Unlike a single-member election, in which people can vote only for candidates who represent their particular legislative district, at-large elections allow every person to vote on each vacant position within a governing body.
ballot the total number of votes cast in an election or in a round of votes. [1/6 definitions]
Barack Obama the 44th President of the United States and current President. Before his 2004 election to the U.S. Senate, in which he served until November 2008, Barack Obama worked as an attorney, a community organizer, and an Illinois state senator (1997-2004). He is the first African-American to be elected to the U.S. presidency (b.1961).
be on the bandwagon to join a party, cause, or movement because it seems assured of success, as during an election.
Bundestag the lower house of the federal assembly of Germany, whose members are chosen by popular election.
by-election in Britain and other countries, an election held between general elections to fill a vacant seat in government.
call to announce or order as (a meeting, election, or the like). [1/22 definitions]
civil service a system of awarding government jobs on the basis of competitive examinations, rather than by appointment or election. [1/3 definitions]
closed primary election in the United States, a direct primary election in which voters must show evidence of their party affiliation and may vote only for candidates of the same party.
contestant one who challenges or disputes an outcome such as a will, election result, or the like. [1/2 definitions]
continuous body a legislative body, such as the U.S. Senate, that achieves stability by staggering the terms of its members to prevent more than a minority of seats from changing in a single election.
direct primary election a preliminary election in which candidates for public office are nominated by direct vote of the people. (Cf. closed primary election.)
elective pertaining to election by voting. [2/5 definitions]
elector one who may participate in an election; qualified voter. [1/2 definitions]
electoral of or concerning electors or an election. [1/2 definitions]
electoral process a set of steps and procedures agreed upon as the method for conducting an election, such as the processes for selecting candidates, registering voters, casting votes, and counting votes.
electoral vote the tally of the votes cast by the electors of the electoral college in a U.S. presidential election. In most states, the winner of the popular vote receives one hundred percent of that state's electoral vote; therefore, the percentage of the total electoral vote cast for each candidate may not reflect the percentage of the popular vote cast for each candidate. [2 definitions]
electorate a body of those entitled to participate in an election; qualified voters, as a group.
front-load to move and concentrate caucuses and party primaries to an earlier period before a general election than had previously been established. [1/2 definitions]
general election a final election on the national, state, or local level to select one candidate from among those previously nominated in a primary election, at a party convention, or by some other procedure. [2 definitions]