Voting is supposed to be quite easy. You place a tick next to the candidate that you like, hand in your ballot, and that is the end of that. However, Chris Halajian believes that a lot of voter apathy is caused by the fact that the system has gotten more complex. Jargon and terminology is used that few people truly understand. And since people understand how important their vote is, they don’t want to make a mistake so they choose not to vote instead. Hence, before the upcoming local elections in almost every town in the country, with one election happening on Monday in both Mattiuck and Southold, he feels explaining some of the jargon could be of importance.
Chris Halajian Addresses Elections Jargon
- Ballot – The list with the names of the different candidates on which you make your decision. Often, this is now done electronically, using buttons or touch screens.
- Campaign finance disclosure – A report that demonstrates how each candidate spent the money they received for their campaign and where they received it from. This is important to help prevent fraud.
- Caucus – A meeting in which party members come together to make decisions on an issue. This issue is mainly whether or not a party should support a candidate.
- Constituent – That is you, the voter. If there are problems with drink driving on a route through your estate and you want a the police budget to be allocated to this, for instance, you have the right, as a constituent, to discuss this with your elected member.
- General election – The final list of candidates presented after primary elections have been won. General elections happen nationally, at state level, and at local level.
- Impeachment – The official process that a high ranking official, such as a Senator, Representative, judge, Vice President, or President has to go through if they are to be removed from office.
- Inauguration – The ceremony through which an elected candidate takes on their position in office.
- Midterm election – The election in which you, the constituent, choose your members of Congress.
- Primary election – The election that determines whether a candidate will receive full support from their party during the general election. At closed primaries, it is only possible for pick candidates from your own party. Open primaries allow you to vote for anyone.
- Recall election – Your opportunity, as a constituent, to remove elected officials before the end of term. This usually happens if there is a petition with sufficient signatures asking for them to be removed. Recall elections are like impeachments for less highly ranked officials.
- Referendum – An opportunity for voters to have their yes/no say on proposed changes and laws through popular vote.
- Special election – Elections that happen if there is a sudden vacancy following an impeachment, resignation, recall, or death.
- Super Tuesday – The day on which the majority of primary elections take place in this country. Those who win Super Tuesday often win the presidential election as well later on.