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Administration Of Government Elections

Voters register with a precinct, which is a local voting district. Registration must be accomplished in the manner prescribed by state statute. The polling place may be any structure authorized by the state to serve as such. All states allow ABSENTEE VOTING for persons who cannot be present in their precinct on election day. Voting is secret, whether by absentee ballot or at the polls.

Election officials are charged with the supervision of voting. In some states, voters indicate their preferences by pulling a lever in a voting machine; in other states, they use a paper and pen. At the end of the voting day, election officials count, or canvass, the results and report them to city or county officials or to the state board of elections. The complete results are filed with the SECRETARY OF STATE or some other designated state-government official. The candidate with the most votes is then declared the winner of the election. This process is called a direct election because the winner is determined by a straight count of the popular vote.

The election of a president and vice president usually occurs by indirect election. That is, the winner is usually determined not by a popular vote but by an electoral vote. Each state has a certain number of electors, is equal to the total number of senators and representatives to which the state is entitled in Congress. In theory, an elector may vote for whomever he or she wants, but in practice, electors vote for the winner of the popular vote in their state.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationFree Legal Encyclopedia: Doom to EmbargoElections - Administration Of Government Elections, Primaries And Conventions, Initiatives And Referendums, Campaigns, Criminal Aspects