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closed primary

a primary election in which voters can participate in the nomination of candidates, but only of the party in which they are enrolled for a period of time prior to the primary day

county chair

the county party official, who heads the county executive committee

county convention

a meeting held by a political party following its precinct conventions, for the purpose of electing delegates to its state convention

county executive committee

the party group, made up of a party's county chair and precinct chairs, that is responsible for running a county's primary elections and planning county conventions

early registration

the requirement that a voter register long before the general election; in effect in Texas until 1971

early voting

a procedure that allows voters to cast ballots during the two-week period before the regularly scheduled election date

general election

a decisive election that determines who is elected to office

motor voter law

a national act, passed in 1993, which requires states to allow people to register to vote when applying for a driver's license

open primary

a primary election in which the voter can wait until the day of the primary to choose which party to enroll in to select candidates for the general election

poll tax

a state-imposed tax on voters as a prerequisite for registration. Poll taxes were made unconstitutional in national elections by the Twenty-fourth Amendment, and in state elections by the Supreme Court in 1966


a local voting district

precinct chair

the local party official, elected in the party's primary election, who heads the precinct convention and serves on the party's county executive committee

precinct convention

a meeting held by a political party to select delegates for the county convention and to submit resolutions to the party's state platform; precinct conventions are held on the day of the party's primary election and are open to anyone who voted in that election

presidential Republicanism

a voting pattern in which conservatives vote Democratic for state offices, but Republican for presidential candidates

primary elections

elections held to select a party's candidate for the general election

runoff primary

where no candidate received a majority, a second primary election is held between the two candidates who received the most votes in the first primary election

Shivercrat movement

a movement, led by the Texas governor Allan Shivers during the 1950s, in which conservative Democrats in Texas supported Republican candidates for office because many of them believed that the national Democratic Party had become too liberal

special election

an election that is not held on a regularly scheduled basis; in Texas, a special election is called to fill a vacancy in office, to give approval for the state government to borrow money, or to ratify amendments to the Texas Constitution

state chair and vice chair

the top two state-level leaders in the party

state convention

a party meeting held every two years for the purpose of nominating candidates for statewide office, adopting a platform, electing the party's leadership, and in presidential election years selecting delegates for the national convention and choosing presidential electors

state executive committee

the committee responsible for governing a party's activities throughout the state

white primary

primary election in which only white voters are eligible to participate

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