Election in the United States

Election Historic Definition

  • Choice; selection. The selection of one man from among more, to discharge certain duties in a state, corporation, or society. The obligation imposed upon a party to choose between two inconsistent or alternative rights or claims, in cases where there is clear intention of the person from whom he derives one that he should not enjoy both.
  • Of Officers. The choice of officers of a public or private body by the votes of the members, or a class thereof. It differs from “appointment,” which implies the conferring of official station by one or more persons having power to represent the body in that regard. (…)
  • Of Rights. The right or duty of one who, by contract or donation, is entitled to two or more rights in the alternative, to select that which he will accept as a substitute for the others. One form of this, sometimes known as “equitable election,” arises when an instrument gives a right coupled with a burden, the donee of the right having an election whether to accept the same (…), but being compelled to accept thus, if at all.
  • Of Remedies. The choice between two or more coexisting and inconsistent remedies for the same wrong. (…).
  • Between Criminal Charges. The choice by a public’ prosecutor upon which of several offenses charged in a single indictment he will go to the jury. (1)

Election in the Legislative Process

The process by which democratic citizens vote to select their representatives in government. While electoral systems in the United States have changed over time, every state now elects its senators and congressmen through popular vote. US Representatives face election every two years, senators every six.

Election Definition in the Legislative Process

The following is a definition of Election, by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL): Act of selecting a person to fill an office. (There are available definitions of Election in the legal Dictionaries).

Election in the context of the Political Party Committees

In this context, Election may be defined as follows: Any one of several processes by which an individual seeks nomination for election, or election, to federal office. They include: a primary election, including a caucus or convention that has authority to select a nominee; a general election; a runoff election; and a special election held to fill a vacant seat. 100.2.

Executive Order

Executive Order in relation with Establishment of the Presidential Commission of Election Administration (March 28, 2013):

“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to promote the efficient administration of Federal elections and to improve the experience of all voters, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Establishment. There is established the Presidential Commission on Election Administration (Commission).

Sec. 2. Membership. (a) The Commission shall be composed of not more than nine members appointed by the President. The members shall be drawn from among distinguished individuals with knowledge about or experience in the administration of State or local elections, as well as representatives of successful customer service-oriented businesses, and any other individuals with knowledge or experience determined by the President to be of value to the Commission.

(b) The President shall designate two members of the Commission to serve as Co-Chairs.

Sec. 3. Mission. (a) The Commission shall identify best practices and otherwise make recommendations to promote the efficient administration of elections in order to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots without undue delay, and to improve the experience of voters facing other obstacles in casting their ballots, such as members of the military, overseas voters, voters with disabilities, and voters with limited English proficiency.

In doing so, the Commission shall consider as appropriate:

(i) the number, location, management, operation, and design of polling places;

(ii) the training, recruitment, and number of poll workers;

(iii) voting accessibility for uniformed and overseas voters;

(iv) the efficient management of voter rolls and poll books;

(v) voting machine capacity and technology;

(vi) ballot simplicity and voter education;

(vii) voting accessibility for individuals with disabilities, limited English proficiency, and other special needs;

(viii) management of issuing and processing provisional ballots in the polling place on Election Day;

(ix) the issues presented by the administration of absentee ballot programs;

(x) the adequacy of contingency plans for natural disasters and other emergencies that may disrupt elections; and

(xi) other issues related to the efficient administration of elections that the Co-Chairs agree are necessary and appropriate to the Commission’s work.

(b) The Commission shall be advisory in nature and shall submit a final report to the President within 6 months of the date of the Commission’s first public meeting.

Sec. 4. Administration. (a) The Commission shall hold public meetings and engage with Federal, State, and local officials, technical advisors, and nongovernmental organizations, as necessary to carry out its mission.

(b) In carrying out its mission, the Commission shall be informed by, and shall strive to avoid duplicating, the efforts of other governmental entities.

(c) The Commission shall have a staff, which shall provide support for the functions of the Commission.

Sec. 5. Termination. The Commission shall terminate 30 days after it presents its final report to the President.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) To the extent permitted by law, and subject to the availability of appropriations, the General Services Administration shall provide the Commission with such administrative services, funds, facilities, staff, equipment, and other support services as may be necessary to carry out its mission on a reimbursable basis.

(b) Insofar as the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.) (the “Act”), may apply to the Commission, any functions of the President under that Act, except for those in section 6 of the Act, shall be performed by the Administrator of General Services.

(c) Members of the Commission shall serve without any additional compensation for their work on the Commission, but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, to the extent permitted by law for persons serving intermittently in the Government service (5 U.S.C. 5701-5707).”



  1. This definition of Election is based on The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary.

See Also

  • Legislative Power
  • Legislative History
  • Legislative Ethics
  • Legislative Session
  • Legislature
  • Legal Aid
  • Legislative Commissions
  • Legislative Branch
  • Legislation
  • Executive Branch
  • Legislative Function

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