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Unconventional Elections in America

2017 September 22

Did you know that you may have to vote again in your primary if no candidate gets more than half the votes? If not, you may want to find out if this applies to you.


For example, there’s been such a close race for Jeff Sessions’ vacant Senate seat in Alabama that the Republican primary in August did not determine a winner. A primary runoff between the top
two Republican candidates, Roy Moore and Luther Strange, is scheduled for September 26.

In over 115 races that Vote Smart has already tracked in 2017, we have encountered other unconventional election practices that voters may not be aware of. Earlier this month, Mississippi held a nonpartisan primary election for its State House Dist. 102 seat that will be determined by a runoff election in October.

Most Americans participate in a first-past-the-post system where winners in primaries and general elections are decided by a “plurality”—the candidate with the most votes wins. Several cities and states across the nation, however, have adopted alternative election methods. Read on for a brief explanation of the unique election practices that are currently used at the state and federal levels.


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Runoff Elections


Runoff elections are held when no candidate wins the simple majority (or more than half) of the votes. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists 10 states that use primary runoff elections—each with their own conditions for running them.



State:

Condition(s):

Runoff Date:

Alabama

No candidate wins a ...

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Political Research Wrap Up: Comey, Healthcare, and Foreign Policy in Under 140 Characters

2017 June 02

 James Comey, health care, and foreign policy in under 140 characters. Read on to find out what has kept Congress and President Trump's Twitter account so busy.

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