Election definitions: Absentee ballots, plurality, late earlies

Do you know the difference between plural and plural? Here’s a quick guide to words you might hear on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON – What’s behind some of the notable nomenclature voters are facing when trying to decipher who/what/why/when/where they cast their ballot this year?

Here are some key terms to know ahead of the midterm elections:

The term “pre-voting” is preferred in states where voters have several options for voting before Election Day. It can have a number of different meanings: mail-in ballot, absentee ballot, and early, in-person voting.

Voters who cannot go to the polls on Election Day often vote absentee, receive ballots – by mail or in person – and vote ahead of time. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia offer “no excuse” absentee voting. This means that any voter can request and cast an absentee ballot or vote by mail without providing a reason.

First used in 2018, the AP VoteCast is a survey of American voters conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for Fox News and The Associated Press. VoteCast is not a poll.

After voting, officials check voter lists against the number of votes cast and study for any discrepancies, often due to clerical errors or mistakes.

Votes also have to go through a certification process at the local and state levels, or involve a panel of statewide officials such as the secretary of state and governor, or only the secretary of state. Hawaii is the only state where certification is overseen by a nonpartisan election official appointed by a bipartisan committee. In 45 states, local councils that handle election certification are either party-controlled or committees where members are elected on a partisan basis, according to research by the Electoral Reform advocacy group Network.

As votes are selected and counted nationally, they are tabulated and reported, before the races are called. Early returns often do not provide an accurate reflection of the final outcome, especially in states that take days or weeks to count pre-votes and provisional ballots.

In the United States, a withdrawal vote is a voter survey conducted by the National Elections Organization – a network of broadcasters – using a method based on face-to-face interviews at polling places.

Some advance ballots are not submitted or received until Election Day. These “late ear tips,” as they are known in states like Arizona, can often result in ballot counting taking days to complete in some places, although the state allows both processing and Count the votes before the poll ends.

Eight of the states that offer unexcused absentee voting will automatically send a ballot to every eligible voter with no request or application. That’s not to say there aren’t in-person polling places, but most people in these locations vote by mail.

A majority is more than half of the vote; majority is the largest number of votes but less than the majority. In states like Georgia, where a candidate needs a majority to win, run-of-the-mill elections may be necessary to ultimately determine who wins in an election.

Over-approval is when a voter selects too many candidates in a given race. Conversely, a low vote means a voter has not made a choice for each office on the ballot, leaving a number blank.


The terms poll monitor, poll follower, and citizen observer are interchangeable, and they can be partisan or nonpartisan. Nonpartisan poll watchers are trained to monitor polling places and local elections offices tallying ballots, looking for anomalies or how to improve the system. Partisan pollsters are those who support specific parties, candidates, or voting proposals and monitor polling places and local elections offices to ensure fairness for the polls. candidates or their causes. Since the 2020 election, several states have passed laws that limit the restrictions local election officials can place on poll watchers, allowing them greater access. with vote counting and vote processing.

As distinct from pollsters or observers, pollsters are people – many times volunteers – who control polling places on Election Day.

Called a “challenge” or “affidavit” ballot in some states, provisional ballots are required by the federal Help America Voting Act of 2002 to ensure that voters’ choices tri is not discounted due to administrative errors. Voters are issued a provisional ballot when there is some uncertainty about their eligibility, such as a name not appearing on the list of voters. In most places provisional ballots are kept separate from other ballots until after the election, when an election board decides whether the voter is actually eligible and therefore whether to count the votes or not.

The AP calls the winners of U.S. elections based on analysis of vote counting, polling research, and other data. An AP race call is not a projection; The AP only executes the race when it determines that a trailing candidate has no way to overtake a leading candidate.

In this electoral system, voters rank their candidate selection in order of preference, with those rankings used to determine the winner in the event that no candidate wins a majority. The number of votes on which they appear is the voter’s first priority. If a candidate wins over 50% in the first round, that’s over. Otherwise, the second round starts with the candidate with the fewest votes in the first round being eliminated. If the disqualified candidate is your vote then your next pick will receive your vote in this round.

Only a few states currently use ranked voting, but its use is debated elsewhere.


A ballot is considered spoiled when officials consider it invalid, for intentional reasons or not, and therefore not included in the total vote count. In some places, like Wisconsin, the rarely used method of corrupting ballots has been challenged in court, where a voter filed an absentee ballot, then cast the original ballot and re-voted. .

Request for proposals or applicants with support beyond the standard 50% plus 1 majority threshold.

Races in which vote counting is ongoing and ongoing and the winner is still unclear are “too early to call”. That includes races where the counting of votes can take several days.

Races in which the tally has reached its primary conclusion – all outstanding ballots with provisional ballots and late absentee ballots counted – without a clear winner are” too close to call.” The AP officially declared a race “too close to call” through its election reporting system and in its bulletin.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/2022-midterm-definition-guide/507-75f46db4-34c4-45e9-baf7-5e3372032a5e Election definitions: Absentee ballots, plurality, late earlies

Edmund DeMarche

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