Term Definition
Political Party An association of voters with broad common interests who want to influence or control decisions making in government by electing the party's candidate's to public office.
two-Party System A system of government in which two parties compete for power.
Third System A party that challenges the two major parties.
Platform A series of statement expressing the party's principles, beliefs, and positions on election issues.
Plank Each individual part of filing a lawsuit.
National Committee Representatives from the 50 state party organizations who run a political party.
Caucus A meeting of political party members to conduct party business.
Precinct A geographic area that contains a specific number of voters.
Ward Several adjoining precincts making up a larger election unit.
Political Machine A strong party organization that can control political appointments and deliver votes.
Direct Primary An election in which voters choose candidates to represent each party in general election.
Closed Primary An election in which only the declared members of a party are allowed to vote for the party's nominees.
Open Primary An election in which voters need not declare their party preference to vote for the party's nominees.
Plurality The most votes among all those running for a political office.
Majority A number that is more than 50 percent of the total.a
Petition A formal request for government action. process by which candidates who are not affiliated with one of the two major parties can get on the ballot for the general election in most states.

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