Election Vocabulary –How To Talk About Presidential Elections
Learn Your Election Vocabulary Today. So here we are at the most crucial moment of the year. Because we are going to find out who are going to be the new leaders of the nation. Motiv8ionN8ion is providing you this list of election terms in this simple glossary list. Show that you understand how voting will work in the 2020 election.
Learn How To Properly Discuss Voting Issues
So let’s look at the ballot box that we have here and let’s see who gets the most number of votes.
The first vote goes to Marcus. The second vote goes to Hillary; the third vote goes to Margaret. It’s getting more and more interesting. The fourth vote is for Donald. The fifth vote is for Will and here we have the decisive vote, the final vote which goes to Marcus and it is Marcus who has received plurality. He is the new President of the USA.
Has he got majority? No he hasn’t. Find out the difference between plurality and majority and other election words with me in this lesson. We have some words right here. It starts from constituents and leads to the majority that selects a President.
So let’s start with the first word here, constituents.
So you can count the number of constituents who are actually the voters. People who vote. Now constituents are the voters, the overall number of people who are voting in a particular election.
Let’s look at the next word that we have electorate.
Who is the electorate? Do you think this is a countable noun like constituents? No, it’s not; it’s not an uncountable noun because it’s a collective noun. So electorate refers to the body of constituents. It is a sub-set of the larger group of the electorate.
So when all the constituents, which means all the voters, all the opposing parties they come together, they form the electorate. Also called the electoral body which votes. Actually, the word electorate comes from a Latin word called elector which means chooser or voter.
So let’s look at the next word that we have and that is an electoral college.
So who does the electorate or the constituents who do they vote for? They vote for positions in the Electoral College. But what is the Electoral College? That is our representative body.
A representative body.
A representative body is a number of delegated people. For the USA, they are voted in by the constituents or the electorate, they come together and vote for the Electoral College which is the representative body in the USA having 538 members.
Then the Electoral College is divided into two parts. The first part is the Senate and the second part is the House of Representatives. You must be thinking I’m talking about Electoral College, but I’m saying Senate and House of Representatives are bicameral.
Why is it called bicameral?
Because a kind of Parliament or Congress that has two parts, it’s called a bicameral government or a bicameral parliament. For example, the US and the UK, both of these have two houses of Parliament and that’s why they’re called bicameral governments.
Bi as you must have guessed means two and camera, this word means chamber in Latin. So a government that has two parts is called a bicameral government. Is it too hard for you to remember? Just remember of a fish, think of a fish.
At the end of this whole hierarchy of elections we have the President. He is at the top. So all these people, the constituents and the Electoral College come together to vote for the President.
Definitions of Voting Terms
Now let’s look at the words that we have on the other side. These words talk about the process of voting. The process of voting. So the first word that we have with us is called polling.
What is polling? Polling is the actual process of voting, it’s the synonym for voting. Polling means same as voting or casting votes.
The next word that we with us is very specific to the USA. We have the US elections coming in a month and this vocabulary will surely help you there.
Now we need a precinct.
A precinct is a particular geographic area specifically for voting. So the unit of voting or the district where voting happens. Thus, a voting district.
So precinct is the voting district where votes come in from a polling place.
A polling place is where all the local people come together and vote.
The next word that we have with us it’s actually an acronym, which is DRE or EVM. What is DRE or EVM? You may not have you heard of these before. These are the instruments or devices through which you cast your vote or through which you vote.
DRE is a direct recording electronic voting machine. So a direct recording electronic voting machine is DRE. An EVM is the more popular voting system right now, over direct voting machines which will usually not provide a paper trail.
A paper trail is a sheet of paper on which voters mark their choices. It’s critical to ensure there is physical proof of voter intent in of the process of voting.
There was a time when people voted using these ballot boxes. Now most voters use an electronic system where you have a machine to scan or read a physical ballot, With DRE you have push buttons. So the machine directly records, your vote and then you know the entire calculation happens of the winner. So direct recording, electronic voting machine.
DRE voting is not as secure as any system with a paper trail. It is possible to hack or even deliberately program these digital machines to flip, remove, or miscount votes. If you voted on a DRE in the last election you should seriously consider voting by mail early while you still can.
Today most of the people use EVM for scanning and counting, but not input of their votes.
What Is A Majority?
You may hear the word relative majority.
That’s another word for plurality. So this means same as relative majority and not absolute majority.
In contrast, an absolute majority is when you have a decision by at least (1/2)+1 of the electorate. Let’s say you have six votes cast and you have one person, Marcus, winning four votes and the other candidates win the other two votes.
In this case, Marcus has an absolute majority because he has received the highest number of votes overall. Now imagine that out of six Marcus got two votes and the other four candidates each got one. This is not more than the half but it’s the most number of votes compared to each of the other candidates.
So when you get less than half but the most number of votes that’s when you receive plurality which is different from absolute majority, which is always more than the half. So plurality is most number of votes but less than half.
As you would have guessed plurality is always possible when there are three or more candidates. You cannot have plurality in a race between two candidates because there’s nothing less than half there. No third party has ever come close to winning a plurality in the USA. They can however pull enough votes to change the outcome.
And finally at the end here as well, we come back to the President and how one becomes the winner.
So let’s look at a imaginary ballot box and let’s see who gets the most number of votes. The first one goes to Markus, the second vote goes to Hillary, the third vote goes to Margaret, the fourth one is for Donald, the fifth vote is for Will and the final vote which goes to Markus and it is Markus who has received more ballots and so he’s the new President. He got an electoral college majority. Now he hasn’t fond out if the final count is a plurality or a majority yet.
Now we are at the most crucial moment of the year because we are going to find out who is going to be the new President. So here are the best words for talking about the election. You can use these words to talk about the elections that are coming.