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voter apathy

seen often among people (especially youth) who feel their votes will not make a difference

national convention

The meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket and write the party's platform.

third party

a political party organized in opposition to the major parties in a two-party system

primary election

Election in which voters choose the candidates from each party who will run in the general election


a series of statements expressing the party's principles, beliefs, and positions on election issues

political party

organized group of people who want to control or influence govt. by winning elections, holding public office, and having laws and policies reflect their political beliefs.


a survey taken to measure public opinion


The function of the party "out of power" to keep an eye on the other party and govt.

Electoral College

The system used in electing the president and vice president, in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballots for a particular party's candidates.


Political Action Committees; an organization formed to collect money and provide financial support for political candidates

absentee ballot

Allows a person to vote without going to the polls on election day.


people appointed to vote in presidential elections for the major candidates

winner take all

System in which the candidate with the majority of the popular vote in a state gets all the electoral votes


a person running for office

House of Representatives

Group that decides who will be president if no candidate has a majority of the electoral votes

popular vote

the total vote cast across the nation for a candidate

electoral vote

the official vote for the president of the US


Midwestern state with the first presidential caucus every four years; has great influence

New Hampshire

New England state with the first presidential primary every four years; has great influence


to select candidates to run for public office


people who are chosen by a political party to go to the convention to nominate the candidates


Role played by minor party in which votes are pulled away from major party candidate


voting district

literacy test

a method used to prevent African Americans from voting by requiring prospective voters to read and write at a specified level

poll tax

a fee to vote; abolished by the 24th amendment

grandfather clause

a voting restriction that allowed any man to vote if he had an ancestor in the voting rolls in 1867


believes that the federal government should expand its role by actively promoting programs such as health care and equal opportunity


believes government power, particularly in the economy, should be limited in order to maximize individual freedom; supports a strong military


member of a political party associated with lower government spending but supports defense spending


member of a politcal party that supports increased taxes to pay for government programs like health care and education


one of the political parties in the United States; they favored a strong centralized government


political party which favored states rights and weaker national government


the name for a party's candidates for president and vice president

26th Amendment

constitutional amendment that lowered the voting age to 18.

15th Amendment

This amendment granted black men the right to vote.

19th Amendment

The constitutional amendment adopted in 1920 that guarantees women the right to vote.

24th Amendment

The constitutional amendment passed in 1964 that declared poll taxes void in federal elections.


A political action committee that can take unlimited donations

Citizens United

Supreme Court decision that allowed corporations and wealthy donors to vastly expand their spending on campaigns

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