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What is an election?

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Quick Answer

An election is a process where citizens vote to elect officials to office or vote on bills and amendments trying to be passed. Modern representative democracy has functioned on this system since the 17th century.

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What is an election?
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Elections that are held to decide who will hold office are held at regular intervals, such as every 4 years for the president of the United States. Each state requires that residents register to vote to ensure that the elections cannot be tampered with. Each vote cast is done privately and tallied at the end of the voting day. The candidates with the most votes at the end of the elections is declared the winner. When voting on a bill or amendment, it is normally something that will affect the voters at a local level, like a bill on alcohol or local taxes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is voting so important?

    A:

    Voting is one of the surest ways for citizens to establish influence over elected officials. Because politicians are concerned primarily with the most vocal elements of their constituencies, groups of people who do not vote tend to receive less attention. This ultimately translates into less power for non-voters to affect the formation of public policy in accordance with their own private interests.

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  • Q:

    What is a direct election?

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    Direct election allows the voters to directly elect political officeholders through an electoral system without electing another body first that then elects officeholders, such as in an indirect election. Examples of direct election are U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament. An example of a body that uses indirect election is the U.S. Electoral College.

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  • Q:

    When was Election Day 2008?

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    Election Day 2008 in the United States was on Nov. 4, 2008, with voters choosing between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. During the 2008 Election Day, the turnout rate was recorded as 62.3 percent, with approximately 132,588,514 voters from an eligible population of 212,720,027.

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  • Q:

    What is a nonpartisan election?

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    The word "nonpartisan," sometimes written "non-partisan," means not biased, particularly toward a political party. In order to curtail the influence of political parties, the United States holds nonpartisan local elections. Nonpartisan election laws only allow candidates to run under their own names. They do not represent political parties.

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