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2017

Unconventional Elections in America
Sept. 22, 2017, 6:48 p.m.

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.

2014

VoteEasy and PCT Results Released in Washington
Oct. 27, 2014, 4:27 p.m.

Today, Vote Smart released the results of the National Political Courage Test to VoteEasy at VoteSmart.org, giving Washington voters an invaluable resource for identifying their best political match November 4th. Twenty-three of the congressional and state legislative candidates passed the 2014 Political Courage Test.
 

2013

Elections Aren't Just for Even Numbered Years
Nov. 6, 2013, 1:22 a.m.

It's Election Day! Well, for many of you it is.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Religious Objections to Birth Control
Jan. 24, 2013, 4:28 p.m.

In August 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an interim final rule concerning contraception.

2012

VoteEasy Tool Launched in Washington
Sept. 19, 2012, 5:29 p.m.

Washington legislature legalizes same-sex marriage
Feb. 28, 2012, 3:38 p.m.

Legislators describe the difficulties of choosing sides in contentious and emotionally-charged debate. 

2011

Response from major parties following 'SuperCommittee' failure
Nov. 29, 2011, 8:52 p.m.

The inability of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or 'Supercommittee', to come to an agreement to reduce the United States' government debt by over one trillion dollars has prompted a significant response by both Democrats and Republicans. 

'Supercommittee' misses deadline
Nov. 22, 2011, 8:19 p.m.

The U.S. Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction was established with the goal of improving both the short and long term financial outlook of the US and reducing the deficit “...by at least $1,500,000,000 over the period of fiscal years 2012 to 2021” But they missed their deadline...

2009

Same-Sex Unions 2009-- Follow-Up
Nov. 6, 2009, 6:49 a.m.

Results of the 2009 General Election
Nov. 5, 2009, 6:59 a.m.

Same-Sex Unions in 2009
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:30 p.m.

Great Pig Crisis
July 21, 2009, 11:24 p.m.

Sleepless in Seattle
July 15, 2009, 2:49 a.m.

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