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Slideshow
Eight Election Words That Will Fit the Bill
electoral-college
The United States Electoral College is a group of electors, chosen by the voters to formally elect the president. There are 538 electors, based on the number of representatives in the House of Representatives (438) and the 100 senators in the Senate. Though this electoral system has been in place since the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the term Electoral College did not enter the vernacular until it appeared in federal law in 1845.
bicameral
[bahy-kam-er-uhl]
Derived from the Latin bi meaning "two" and camer meaning "chamber," a bicameral system of government is a legislative body with two chambers. In the case of the United States, this refers to the Senate and the House of Representatives. On Election Day we elect not only the president, but also representatives to both houses of Congress. Flip to the next slide to learn how the House determines the number of representatives per state.
apportionment
[uh-pawr-shuhn-muhnt, uh-pohr-]
Derived from the Middle French apportionner meaning "to portion," apportionment is the proportional distribution of seats in a legislative body on the basis of population. In the United States legislature, the composition of the House of Representatives is determined in this manner. Election officials derive this number by comparing the population of each state to the total population of the country. Based on that proportion, they decide how many of the 438 seats in the House a given state is entitled to.
nineteenth-amendment
Ratified on August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution granted women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafted the amendment in 1878, though it was not ratified for 42 years. The signing of the Nineteenth Amendment meant victory for the long and arduous movement for women suffrage in America. To find out where you can exercise your right to vote, flip to the next slide.
precinct
[pree-singkt]
Also referred to as a voting district, a precinct is one of a fixed number of districts, each containing one polling place, into which a city, town, etc., is divided for voting purposes. The term is derived from a mixture of two constructions, prae meaning "in front of," and cingere meaning "to surround or encircle."
plurality
[ploo-ral-i-tee]
Known in British English as relative majority, plurality can occur when there are three or more candidates running for a single office. The term refers to the excess amount of votes received by the leading candidate, when they collect the most votes (plurality) but not necessarily more than half the votes (absolute majority). The United States employs a simple-plurality, or winner-take-all, voting system. The term is derived from the Middle English stem plu, referring to an addition, also the root for the word "plus."
electorate
[ih-lek-ter-it]
The electorate is the body of persons entitled to vote in an election. The root is derived from the Latin elector meaning "chooser," though the term did not come into common use until the 1870s when the suffix -ate was added, adapting the term to signify a whole body of voters. In the United States, most citizens at least 18 years of age have the right to vote.
constituents
[kuhn-stich-oo-uhnt]
A constituent is a person who authorizes another to act on his or her behalf, as a voter in a district represented by an elected office. The term stems from the Latin constituere meaning "that which makes up or composes." It was first used as a noun in 1714 when it came to mean "one who appoints or elects a representative."

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