a very short statement of a candidate's theme communicated by radio or television in a few seconds
Political Action Committee (PAC)
An organizational device used by corporations, labor unions, and other organizations to raise money for campaign contributions. They donate because they agree with a candidate's position on an issue.
Texas Ethics Commission
Enforces state standards for lobbyists and public officials, including registration of lobbyists and reporting of political campaign contributions. (it requires financial disclosure from public officials)
Campaign Reform Act
Enacted by the U.S. congress and signed by president Bush in 2002, this law restricts donations of "soft money" and "hard money" for elections campaigns, but has been challenged in federal court. Also restricts corporations and labor unions the ability to run "electioneering" ad featuring the names and likenesses candidates close to election day
Campaign money donated to national political parties rather than to the candidate
campaign money contributed directly by individuals
Voting is open for virtually all persons 18 years of age or older
A prerequisite for voter registration, this test was designed and administered in ways intended to prevent African Americans and Latinos from voting. it required prospective voters to take a screening test that conditioned voter registration on a person's literacy.
Exempted people from educational, property, or tax requirements for voting if they were qualified to vote before 1867, and were descendants of such persons. Because African Americans were not allowed to vote before the 15th amendment (1870) it was used to prevent African Americans from voting
a special tax that citizens pay to become eligible to vote ($1.75). Tax levied in TX from 1902 until a similar Virginian tax was declared unconstitutional in 1962. failure to pay the annual tax made a citizen ineligible to vote in party primaries or in special and general elections. Because of this African American voter participation declined. it was eventually abolished with the ratification of the 24th amendment.
a nominating system designed to prevent African American and some Mexican Americans from participating in Democratic primaries from 1923-1944. Declared unconstitutional in Smith v Allwright trial
Drawing districts designed to affect representation (under represent) of a racial group (African Americans) in a legislative chamber, city council, commissioners court, or other representative body.
At-Large Majority Districts
a district that elects two or more representatives
Voting Rights Act
Abolished use of all literacy tests in voter registrations. Prohibited residency requirements of more than 30 days for voting in Presidential Elections. Requires states to provide some form of absentee or early voting. Allows individuals to sue federal courts to request that voting examiners be sent to a particular area. Also it was amended to add the following: establish a new federal policies to increase voter turnout among Native Americans and Latinos for example using Spanish-speaking residents must use bilingual ballots / other bilingual materials.
Motor Voter Law
(AKA National Voter Registration Act) Legislation requiring certain government offices (e.g. motor vehicle licensing agency) to offer voter registration application to clients.
percentage of the voting-age population casting ballots in an election
Texas Election Code
The body of state law concerning parties, primaries, and elections.
A qualified voter must register with the county registrar, who complies lists of qualified voters residing in each voting precinct
conducted at the county courthouse and selected polling places before the designated primary, special, or general election day. (17 days before first primary or 10 days before runoff primary)
The basic geographic area for conduction primaries and elections; TX is divided into more than 8,500 voting precinct with approximately 100 to 2,000 registered voters.
less than 30% of TX counties employ a full-time election administrator to supervise voter registration and voting
Appointed by county commissioners court to administer election in a voting precinct
A preliminary election conducted within the party to select candidates who will run for public office in a subsequent general election
A nominating system that allows voters to participate directly in the selection of candidates for public office
(candidates for all parties compete) Held in November of even-numbered years to elect county and state officials from among candidates nominated in primaries or in nominating conventions (for small parties)
Held a month after the first primary to allow party members to choose a candidate from the first primary's top two vote-getters
A primary in which voters must declare their support for the party before they are permitted to participate in the selection of its candidates
a primary in which voters are not required to declare party identification
Nonpartisan Blanket Primary
A nominating process whereby voters indicate their preference by using a single ballot on which are printed the names and respective party labels of all persons seeking nomination
a candidate who runs in a general election without party endorsement or selection
Louisiana conducts this primary in which candidates from all parties compete in a single election. A candidate who receives 50% or more of the votes is elected; otherwise a runoff between the top two candidates must be held. (no party primary just the general election)
A practice whereby a person participates in the primary of one party, then votes for one or more candidates of another party in the general election (democrats in republican dominated counties are more likely to participate in crossover voting)
to scrutinize the results of an election and then confirm and certify the votes tally for each candidate
Off-Year or Midterm Elections
A general election held in even-numbered year following a presidential election
an election called by the governor to fill a vacancy (U.S. congressional or state legislative office) or vote on a proposed state constitutional amendment or local bond issues