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direct primary

an election held within a party to pick that party's candidates for the general election

blanket primary

voting process in which voters receive a long ballot containing the names of all contenders, regardless of party, and can vote however they choose

runoff primary

primary in which the top two vote-getters in the 1st direct primary face one another

closed primary

a party nominating election in which only declared members can vote

open primary

party nominating election in which any qualified voter can take part


the device voters use to register a choice in elections

absentee voting

provisions made for those unable to get to their regular polling places on election day

political action committee (PAC)

political extension of special-interest groups which have a major state in public policy


process of candidate selection in an electoral system

coattail effect

the effect of a strong candidate running for an office at the top of a ballot helping to attract voters to other candidates on the party's ticket


smallest unit of election administration; voting district

nonpartisan election

election in which candidates aren't identified by party labels


grant of money, usually from a government


as a nominating devide, a group of like-minded people who meet to select the candidates they'll support in an upcoming election

general election

the regularly scheduled election at which voters make a final selection of office-holders

hard money

campaign money that is subject to regulation by FEC

soft money

money given to State and legal party organizations for voting-related activities

polling place

where voters who live in certain precinct go to vote

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