ELECTIONS 101


WHAT IS ABSENTEE VOTING?

If you cannot get to your poll site on Election Day, you may qualify to vote by absentee ballot. You can vote by absentee ballot if you are temporarily or permanently ill/disabled, a member of the armed forces, or if you are out of town on Election Day, depending on your state’s absentee ballot qualifications. Requirements vary per state, but generally you have to request an application by mail a number of days before Election Day.


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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLOSED AND OPEN PRIMARY?

Closed Primary
Voter may only vote for candidate belonging to your registered party.

Open Primary
Voter may vote for candidate belonging to any party.

Semi-Closed Primary
Voters not affiliated with a party may vote in any party’s primary election.

Preferential Primary
Voter may rank the candidates in order of preference.

Top Two Primary
Voters may vote for candidate belonging to any party, and the two candidates who receive the most votes qualify for the General Election.


BALLOT EQUIPMENT

After the controversies of the 2000 U.S. presidential election, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was signed into law in 2002. The purpose of HAVA is to replace lever-based and punch-card voting systems; establish election administration standards and create the Election Assistance Commission for assistance in administering Federal elections. Since HAVA, many states have upgraded their voting machines.


TO BE ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER YOU MUST…

Eligibility requirements vary state to state.  Learn more about your state's specific requirements here.